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Selasa, 12 Juni 2012

Armstrong, Michael. How to Manage People - Leadership


As a manager of people your role is to ensure that the members of your team give of their best to achieve a desired result. In other words you are a leader – you set the direction and ensure that people follow you. It is necessary to distinguish between management and leadership:

  • ■ Management is concerned with achieving results by obtaining, deploying, using and controlling all the resources required, namely people, money, facilities, plant and equipment, information and knowledge. Leadership focuses on the most important resource, people. It is the process of developing and communicating a vision for the future, motivating people and gaining their engagement. 
  • ■ The distinction is important. Management is mainly about the provision, utilization and control of resources. But where people are involved it is impossible to deliver results without providing effective leadership. It is not enough to be a good manager of resources, you also have to be a good leader of people.

 John Kotter (1991) distinguishes between leaders and managers as shown in Table 2.1. To be an effective leader you need to:

Armstrong, Michael. How to Manage People.
London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd., 2008. p 24.
Copyright © 2008. Kogan Page Ltd.. All rights reserved.

Table 2.1 Managers and leaders: 

John Kotter 

  •  understand what is involved in the process – the practice of leadership; 
  • be aware of the different styles of leadership available; 
  • appreciate the qualities that contribute to good leadership; 
  • know how best to develop your leadership abilities. 
These four requirements are discussed in turn in this chapter, which ends with three checklists on leadership.

Armstrong, Michael. How to Manage People.
London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd., 2008. p 25.
Copyright © 2008. Kogan Page Ltd.. All rights reserved.

What leadership involves Leaders have three essential roles. They have to:

  • 1. Define the task – they make it quite clear what the group is expected to do.
  • 2. Achieve the task – that is why the group exists. Leaders ensure that the group’s purpose is fulfilled. If it is not, the result is frustration, disharmony, criticism and, eventually perhaps, disintegration of the group. 
  • 3.Maintain effective relationships – between themselves and the members of the group, and between the people within the group. These relationships are effective if they contribute to achieving the task. They can be divided into those concerned with the team and its morale and sense of common purpose, and those concerned with individuals and how they are motivated.  
These roles can be described in a number of ways as discussed below.

Armstrong, Michael. How to Manage People.
London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd., 2008. p 26.
Copyright © 2008. Kogan Page Ltd.. All rights reserved.

Leadership styles 

There are many styles of leadership and no one style is necessarily better than the other in any situation. Leaders can be classified as: 

  • Charismatic/non-charismatic. Charismatic leaders rely on their personality, their inspirational qualities and their ‘aura’. They are visionary leaders who are achievement orientated, calculated risk takers and good communicators. Non-charismatic leaders rely mainly on their know-how (authority goes to the person who knows), their quiet confidence and their cool, analytical approach to dealing with problems.
  •  Autocratic/democratic. Autocratic leaders impose their decisions, using their position to force people to do as they are told. Democratic leaders encourage people to participate and involve themselves in decision taking. 
  • Enabler/controller. Enablers inspire people with their vision of the future and empower them to accomplish team goals. Controllers command people to obtain their compliance.

Armstrong, Michael. How to Manage People.
London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd., 2008. p 28.
Copyright © 2008. Kogan Page Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  •  Transactional/transformational. Transactional leaders trade money, jobs and security for compliance. Transformational leaders motivate people to strive for higher level goals.

 Another way of describing leadership styles is linked to the path-goal model. There are four styles: 

  1.  Achievement-orientated leadership – the leader sets challenging goals for followers, expects them to perform at their highest level, and shows confidence in their ability to meet this expectation.
  2.  Directive leadership – the leader lets followers know what is expected of them and tells them how to perform their tasks. 
  3. Participative leadership – the leader consults with followers and asks for their suggestions before making a decision. 
  4. Supportive leadership – the leader is friendly and approachable and shows concern for the followers’ well being.
 But there is no such thing as an ideal leadership style. The situation in which leaders and their teams function will influence the approaches that leaders adopt. It all depends. The factors affecting the degree to which a style is appropriate will be the type of organization, the nature of the task, the characteristics of the group and, importantly, the personality of the leader. 

An achievement-orientated approach may be appropriate when expectations of the results the team has to produce are high and team members can be encouraged to rise to the occasion. 

A task-orientated approach (autocratic, controlling, directive) may be best in emergency or crisis situations or when the leader has power, formal backing and a relatively well-structured task. In these circumstances the group is more ready to be directed and told what to do. In less well-structured or ambig-

Armstrong, Michael. How to Manage People.
London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd., 2008. p 29.
Copyright © 2008. Kogan Page Ltd.. All rights reserved.

uous situations, where results depend on the group working well together with a common sense of purpose, leaders who are concerned with maintaining good relationships (democratic, participative or supportive) are more likely to obtain good results.

Good leaders are capable of flexing their style to meet the demands of the situation. Normally democratic or participative leaders may have to shift into more of a directive mode when faced with a crisis, but they make clear what they are doing and why. Poor leaders change their style arbitrarily so that their team members are confused and do not know what to expect next.

Effective leaders may also flex their style when dealing with individual team members according to their characteristics. Some people need more positive directions than others. Others respond best if they are involved in decision making with their boss. But there is a limit to the degree of flexibility that should be used. It is unwise to differentiate too much between the ways in which individuals are treated.

The kind of leadership exercised will indeed be related to the nature of the task and the people being led. But it also depends on the context and, of course, on leaders themselves. If you have a natural leadership style and it works, you have to be careful about changing it arbitrarily or substantially: modification yes, to a degree, transformation, no. And you can learn how to improve it as discussed towards the end of this chapter so that it fits the demands of the situation.

Armstrong, Michael. How to Manage People.
London, GBR: Kogan Page Ltd., 2008. p 30.
Copyright © 2008. Kogan Page Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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