Are You a Manager or a Leader?

 

Can you name a famous manager?  Can you name a famous leader?

Managers are generally appointed or promoted.  They have formal authority and the ability to influence.  Leaders may be appointed, but generally emerge and carry an influence that goes beyond formal authority.

Traits associated with business leaders can include:

  • Personal drive
  • Desire to lead
  • Intelligence
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Deep industry experience
  • Solid professional network

How can you personally become a leader?

If you don’t have the opportunity within your work environment to lead, consider volunteer opportunities where you can learn new skills.

Having a strong professional network, an expansive circle of contacts, will take you to the next level.

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Communicating Across Cultures

 

Working in a global corporate environment does not mean having pockets of the same ethnicity on different floors.  This does not count as diversity at its best.

Diversity within the workplace does mean promoting an environment where differences are valued and everyone has the opportunity to achieve his or her potential without bias.

For a company to promote diversity, it means more than just hiring those from underrepresented groups.  And it is more than lip service on a Web site.

Diversity means hiring, promoting and working together without discrimination.

Diversity is critical for success and a true competitive advantage.  Diversity within the workplace increases productivity, creates new marketing opportunities, and builds a more positive business image.

Being sensitive to people who are different from you can create new ways of solving problems and working together.  Diversity respects different opinions.

Embracing diversity is part of our national heritage.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Proper channels of hierarchical management

 

Jim, a senior manager with over 10 direct reports, recently described a subordinate who felt the need to go around him. Jim was upset because the employee was not privy to all information regarding a major application. Changes the employee believed were necessary, would actually negatively impact the efficiency of the system. The employee went around Jim to the director to request permission to implement the change.

 

Both Jim and the employee were upset.

 

Jim felt his authority was undermined. Jim had to explain to his supervisor why the employee did not go through the correct management protocol.

 

Management is created for a reason. Direct supervisors are responsible for issues related to their team and projects.

 

When you don’t have access to the big picture and step outside reporting lines, misinterpretation and miscommunication can occur. Situations can become more exaggerated. You may think you’re stepping outside of the box, however, management will look at you critically when you step outside of established protocol.

 

As frustrating as it can be, unless there is a safety or ethical issue, it’s inappropriate to go around your manager.

 

Whenever possible, working together as a team means playing the game and following the rules. This will keep misunderstanding to a minimum.

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Planning a party? Too many cooks?

What’s the best way to create agreement?

First build consensus.  Personally or professionally, it’s always easier to get things done when you are aligned to a common goal.

The director of a nonprofit community-based organization is currently planning an upcoming holiday event.  To ensure the best turnout for the party, the director assembled a committee.  Conference calls ensued.  Dates and consensus of party plans are approved.  The director knows that the larger community will participate, based on the alignment of the committee.

Organizations that build consensus create situations where stakeholders are personally invested in the successes of the project and team.

Steps include:

  • Identify key players
  • State issues and possible solutions
  • Open dialogue to discuss ideas
  • Create opportunity to involve stakeholders’ problem solving
  • Finalization and approval
  • Implementation

The time spent up front to make phone calls and create understanding, will harness and focus group energy.  It is time well spent to ensure a successful project.

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