Throughout the decades, management trends have shifted and evolved. Still, many executives struggle to discover and implement which practices will boost performance and profits. Managers are important for the success of any enterprise, especially for small- to mid-sized firms where they take on many roles.
However, leadership is equally important. While certain skills contribute to success, organizations need strong leadership to succeed. Developing leadership capabilities is essential for modern managers. For some, this means stepping outside of their comfort zone to develop needed skills.
Many managers think of themselves as leaders, but there's a big difference between how managers and leaders motivate employees. Primarily, managers enforce rules and make sure that workers complete tasks, while leaders instill a true sense of loyalty and belief in the corporate vision. Managers who want to take their careers to the next level must learn how to lead.
Challenges in the Field
Today's managers are tasked with many responsibilities and must capably watch over all employee activities. Smart managers do this effectively by leveraging their strengths and establishing priorities as well as setting and accomplishing goals. They also balance their responsibilities by not allowing themselves to become pinned down with one task so that they can effectively monitor and direct all ongoing organizational activities within their scope of responsibility.
Managers must absorb information from many sources and use it to lead their teams forward in the best way possible. Their ability to evaluate and make decisions are critical to their success. Additionally, they must make the right decisions quickly, while setting lesser priorities to the side. The following are several methods that will help managers become leaders and enhance their business.
Method 1: Communicate Well
Managers cannot lead without effective communication skills. The best managers are not only skilled at communicating ideas, but also excel at listening. This means providing direct eye contact and not using devices such as smartphones when engaging with employees.
People share and receive communications differently. As a manager, it's important to communicate well and understand how to speak to varying staff members. A manager’s ability to communicate enhances employee's ability to learn. To lead effectively, managers must practice ethics, integrity and keep the promises they’ve made to staff members.
Also, it’s important to remember that words are only a small part of communicating. Facial expressions, body language, and tone all contribute to the message that staff members receive.
Instigating communication between different departments by using Cross-Functional Integration is another way managers can improve their leadership. Managers need to learn to encourage a flow of communication and team building among members of the company by promoting an ongoing stream of communication and information across disciplines and organizational functions. Enterprise leaders have deployed this Cross-Functional Integration to enable improved interaction and coordination among business units the normally compete against each other.
Method 2: Try Hybrid Management
Effective leaders must change their style to suit different situations and manage employees with varying characteristics. The four primary leadership styles are transactional, charismatic, transformational and servant. However, hybrid management combines different styles. Rational-legal and charismatic leadership are the two main types of hybrid management.
Rational-legal leadership is built on an organization’s compliance with legal guidelines, ethics and bureaucracy. This management style requires a structured, logical approach to leadership.
Conversely, charismatic leadership is a relaxed style of management. It relies heavily on an individual's influence. Using this method, managers can connect and build rapport with specific staff members.
Method 3: Motivate and Empower
Leaders stand out from managers because of their ability to inspire and motivate staff members. Not all employees are motivated to fulfill their responsibilities. Motivation comes from within. Still, the ability to motivate employees is essential for exceptional leadership.
Effective management is not possible without the ability to motivate others. Competent managers can nurture true motivation and promote stellar performance among employees. By establishing goals for workers to achieve, effective leaders can help workers to invest in the idea of helping the company meet its objectives. While this may prove easier with younger workers, it can be a challenge with staff members who’ve managed responsibilities in a specific manner for years.
Method 4: Lead With Integrity
Leaders must be reputable and honor their word. In the workplace, true leaders confront adversity and work toward workforce balance and equality. Staff members trust and respect effective managers who lead the organization through positive changes.
These kinds of leaders promote fair, just and equitable management practices. They’re committed to fairness, justice and workplace equality. Additionally, effective leaders make sure that all staff members have access to resources for advancing their careers.
Method 5: Conduct Employee Surveys
To receive feedback about how employees feel about their work, managers need only to ask with a survey. According to a report published by the global advisory firm Gartner, leaders should develop questionnaires that focus on key performance metrics, rather than feel-good statistics, to maximize the effectiveness of their polls. Listening is a key component of exemplary leadership. Effective managers embrace change and adapt to changing employee needs. Anonymous surveys are an excellent resource for learning about current working conditions because employees feel as though they can express themselves openly. Using this resource, managers can find out how employees truly feel about their organization and the current work environment.
Top-notch leaders are needed to retain talent in a marketplace with a limited number of trained professionals. In today's business environment, it's the manager's responsibility to develop the leadership and communication skills required to effectively guide and cultivate employees.
Real leaders shape corporate values, develop organizational culture and model employee behavior. Managers direct. Leaders influence and inspire staff members to act.
Delegating responsibilities is relatively easy. Today's organizations need more managers who can take on leadership roles. Exceptional managers have or learn the leadership skills required to truly inspire staff members and develop an organizational culture that supports employee growth. They focus on long-term goals and the overall corporate mission.
Additionally, they help team members develop long-term, strategic thinking. Superlative leaders promote an environment where employees rally together to help the organization achieve its goals. The best leaders constantly test the limits of their abilities and refuse to settle for the status quo. By maintaining this attitude, today’s managers can become leaders, and tomorrow’s leaders can take their organizations to new heights of performance.
View this infographic from Regis University and learn new leadership styles and management structures that can help you:
Source: Regis College Online
Bio: Julie holds a master's in leadership and an undergraduate degree in psychology. She works as a business coach and inspires younger women to excel in leadership and executive positions. Julie is passionate about working with nonprofits, sharing ways to create more equality and diversity, and promotes women empowerment. She travels a lot, enjoys wine tasting, and relaxing in Northern California with her husband and dog.