Dealing with Employees/PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
good morning sir
please give me the answers for these questions.
2. Management is regarded as an art by someone, science by others but in reality
science should have many more. The truth seems to be somewhere in between.
In the light of this statement, explain to exact nature of management.
3. ‘The job of the supervisor is many more difficult than that of higher level managers’.
Examine the major responsibilities of a supervisor in an agro based Industry.
4. “A good leader is not necessarily a good manager”. Take one example from service
industry as per your choice and compare the role of leaders and managers
thank you so much sir
HERE IS SOME SOME USEFUL MATERIAL.
SOME ANSWERS HELD BACK DUE TO SPACE CONSTRAINT.
PLEASE FORWARD THESE BALANCE QUESTIONS TO MY EMAIL ID
I will send the balance asap.
4. “A good leader is not necessarily a good manager”. Take one example from service
industry as per your choice and compare the role of leaders and managers
INTRODUCTION TO GOOD MANAGEMENT The aim of good management is to provide services to the community in an appropriate, efficient, equitable, and sustainable manner. Th is can only be achieved if key resources for service provision, including human resources, finances, hardware and process aspects of care delivery are brought together at the point of service delivery and are carefully synchronized. Critical management considerations for assessment and planning, managing the care process, human resources, interacting with the community, and managing informat discusses good management and leadership in general, then outlines relevant considerations for managing relations with patients and the district team, as well as finances and hardware and management schedules.
MANAGERS AND LEADERS Management and leadership are important for the delivery of good health services. Although the two are similar in some respects, they may involve different types of outlook, skills, and behaviours. Good managers should strive to be good leaders and good leaders, need management skills to be effective. Leaders will have a vision of what can be achieved and then communicate this to others and evolve strategies for realizing the vision. They motivate people and are able to negotiate for resources and other support to achieve their goals.
Managers ensure that the available resources are well organized and applied to produce the best results. In the resource constrained and diffi cult environments of many low – to middle-income countries, a manager must also be a leader to achieve optimum results. What are the attributes of a good leader? Leaders oft en (but not necessarily always): ■ have a sense of mission; ■ are charismatic; ■ are able to influence people to work together for a common cause; ■ are decisive; ■ use creative problem solving to promote better care and a positive working environment. Leadership is creating a vision Managers who have these leadership qualities are a credit to the services they manage. However managers must ensure that day-to-day processes run well to produce the desired results. Certain attributes are required for a manager to be eff ective, including: ■ clarity of purpose and tasks; ■ good organizational skills; ■ ability to communicate tasks and expected results eff ectively; ■ ability to negotiate various administrative and regulatory processes; ■ good delegation skills. Management is getting things do
CONDITIONS FOR GOOD MANAGEMENT Certain conditions are important for creating good management, including: ■ managers and team members need to be selected on merit; ■ managers need to earn the respect of their staff , patients, and supervisors; ■ managers need to have the knowledge, skills and understanding of the role, tasks and purpose of the services they deliver; ■ basic support systems function well; clear staff administration rules and regulations; well planned and timely delivered supplies, equipment and drugs; clear and transparent fi nancial processes; and well planned and monitored activities. Management is getting things done through balanced involvement of people As a health facility manager there are important questions to discuss with the district management team and to ask yourself: ■ What exactly am I supposed to do as a manager? ■ Will the resources needed be here and be on time? ■ How free am I to take decisions, e.g. to move staff around? ■ How can I balance my managerial and clinical duties? ■ How can I reduce the time spent on the many routine reports I need to write? ■ What and where are the tools and techniques to help me do the job well? Conditions for being an eff ective manager are best when these questions have clear and positive answers so that tasks are clear, the delegation of authority is known and managers know where and when to seek support for their decisions. Management also
flourishes when the manager and the staff agree about the objectives of the work that they are doing, and can make decisions easily and with minimal risks.
HOW TO LEARN AS A MANAGER Health care delivery and patient circumstances are constantly changing, and managers have to continue to learn new abilities and skills to keep up. A signifi cant portion of management involves skills and competencies such as motivating staff , communicating and negotiating with stakeholders, and maintaining certain attitudes and behaviours that maximize staff discipline and performance. Managers also need to understand the basic technical aspects of the services delivered. For most of these competencies, training courses, while eff ective, are oft en not suffi cient to provide all the necessary skills. How can managers create and foster an environment in which they, and the people they manage, are constantly learning? One way is to clearly and regularly identify challenges that the service faces, and the skills and knowledge that the team needs to overcome these challenges. Th e ways to acquire the necessary skills and competencies may include: ■ continuous education and learning (including self-learning programmes) ■ structured “academic” courses; the most common form of management training; ■ Secondments, attachments, shadowing/observation and study tours provide practical learning and examples of how others handle situations you will likely face; ■ Mentoring and coaching relationships – experienced mentors provide insights into managing partnerships and relationships, opportunities to seek advice and explore options when managers are faced with diffi cult situations; ■ Peer to peer learning – an opportunity to meet other managers at regular intervals, share experiences, challenges and solutions, build a common understanding of processes, and to support each other. Other peer learning techniques include: ■ Learning cycles/groups - groups of team members who meet regularly to discuss issues and help develop or improve management systems;
LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT ■ Networks – managers from within and outside your health centre with a common interest in understanding and improving their situation; ■ Refl ection sessions – managers and their teams set aside a regular time to review their work, identify areas that need improvement, and ways to improve the service; Th ese methods can be used by the managers as part of their planned selfdevelopment, and should be linked to challenges they face in delivering services. Every manager needs clear learning objectives and plans and available time for these activities (e.g. put aside a half day every two weeks for team or personal learning).
A MANAGER’S ROLE AND TASKS Certain roles and responsibilities all general managers need to manage, include: ■ type and coverage of services to be delivered; ■ resources (staff , budgets, drugs and supplies, equipment, buildings and other infrastructure and information) available for use; ■ people, including patients, partners, suppliers and staff that are important for delivering functional quality services. Th e specifi c functions carried out by health facility managers are discussed here and in other chapters, However, no matter what type of service is off ered, managers need to devise and implement strategies, make plans and budgets, seek resources, implement, monitor and evaluate the plans, learn lessons, and then design new plans. A manager delegates some tasks to other staff members and supports and coaches them to achieve desired results. Managers use team and staff meetings and other forms of communication to communicate the appropriate messages to staff about what is to be achieved and how.
A major management task is reviewing the important information and data concerning service delivery and using this data to make decisions about how services can be modifi ed and improved. Managers are responsible for the fi nances available to the service, ensuring that these are used to produce the maximum possible benefi ts for patients and staff . Keeping a fi rm focus on the overall goal of the service and reminding staff , partners and clients of this goal is a major task for managers. Management involves developing staff / skills mentoring persons with high potential, and resolving confl icts while maintaining ethics and discipline Managers must also develop “management improvement/action plans” that target: ■ diffi culties in management systems ■ bottlenecks/barriers to service delivery ■ tasks that need to be delegated, and ■ expected results of the management functions. Management is about making decisions
In most health systems, health facilities are linked to the national health system through the district and threfore are accountable to district management teams. All operational health system activities are implemented via the district including drugs and commodities procurement, human resources, infrastructure, and technical support. Local facility managers and district managers must have clear lines of communication, and ensure optimal off -site support and supervision, and that reporting to districts is accurate.
Facility managers must communicate all challenges to the district level to make sure there is continued service delivery at facility level. District managers should communicate new policies and management tools to local managers to ensure compliance. A strong relationship between the two levels is key to sustained service delivery at the facility level.
Health facilities exist for the sole purpose of providing health services to patients in communities. Therefore managers need to ensure that client satisfaction is of utmost importance. Th is is why all staff must be trained to understand patients’ rights. Staff should not be judgmental and must provide information to patients so they can make informed decisions regarding treatment options, as well as lifestyle and behaviour modifi cations that may be required to improve their health status. Staff must also be able to assist patients to understand their responsibilities, including: ■ to live a healthy lifestyle; ■ not to participate in risky behaviour; ■ to participate in their care by attending appointments, asking questions, and playing a part in their own health improvement; ■ to be open and honest about the problems they face; ■ to have the best health outcome by adhering to treatment regimes. Th e attitude of staff towards patients infl uences patients’ willingness to obtain access to and continue care, to treatments, and to accept and follow health promotion messages. Negative staff attitudes reduce patients’ self esteem and motivation, reducing their will to seek services.
Assessing patient satisfaction Appropriate tools should be used by the health centre and district supervisors to assess patient satisfaction, or to assess how patients perceive the health establishment in general. Th ese include: ■ client satisfaction surveys ■ suggestion boxes ■ community consultation committees. These concrete measures ensure patients’ voices are heard. Anonymous mechanisms for eliciting suggestions should be encouraged, such as a “suggestion box” placed in the waiting area (with paper and pen), in which patients can put anonymous messages. Th e box should be emptied regularly and comments discussed with the staff .
PATIENTS’ RIGHTS Patients’ rights, include the right to: 1. health information 2. full range of accessible and affordable health services 3. privacy when they are receiving health care 4. be treated with dignity and respect when they are receiving health care 5. be assured that personal information will remain confi dential 6. be given an explanation of the processes that they go through when they are receiving health care 7. be treated by people who are trained and knowledgeable about what they do 8. continuity of services 9. be treated by a named provider 10. express the views on the services provided and to complain about unsatisfactory health services 11. gender equality 12. a healthy and safe environment 13. make free informed choices
HOW TO MANAGE FINANCES Th e degree to which health centres are involved in managing funds and fi nancial resources varies with the nature of the health centre, its size, and the structure of the national health services. Yet, all health services have to manage two types of funds: ■ “Invisible funds”, or budgetary allocation. Th ese are not physically handled, but represent a “credit” that is provided by the district management team or other entity that will handle how they are spent; ■ “Visible money” or cash: Th is money is seen and handled in the centre. Money can be kept for spending (usually small in amounts, called “petty cash”1 ), or be received for services or sales of goods. Managing money and fi nances in a health centre is complex and responsible work. Ultimately, the facility manager bears responsibility for the correct handling of all fi nancial aspects. Good fi nancial management is the core of good service delivery. Th e facility manager needs to ensure that fi nancial resources are committed to those activities that contribute to organizational goals. Regular use of the good fi nancial management checklist below can help ensure that the fi nancial procedures in place conform to good fi nancial practises. 1 Petty cash – the fi nancial term for this is imprested fund
A good fi nancial management checklist ensures that: • All accounting registers, journals and ledgers are up to date. • All fi nancial reports are prepared and submitted in a timely manner. • Procedures for the use of petty cash are properly developed. • All expenses other than petty cash are paid by cheque. • Financial activities are separated in such a way that one person alone never registers, reviews and authorizes any complete transaction. • Procedures for authorizing purchases are being followed. • Security measures are in place to protect the assets, books and registers from tampering or theft. • A physical inventory of fi xed assets and supplies is conducted at least once a year. • The bank statement is reconciled monthly. • There is a fi nancial plan and/or a fi nancial strategy leading to improved cost recovery. • Financial administration staff is involved in both programme and fi nancial planning processes. • A realistic annual budget is developed from the work plan. • The organization has a unifi ed budget, as well as sub-budgets for different programmes and/or donors. The accounting system adequately allocates expenses to different programmes and/or donors. • The line items in the chart of accounts, the budget and management fi nancial reports correspond with each other. • Cash fl ow is adequately monitored and is projected for the year so there are no periods of cash shortage. • Actual expenditures are compared quarterly with the budget and corrective action is taken as a result of these comparisons. Oft en, health centres have no dedicated fi nancial offi cers to handle budgets and fi nancial control is exerted by the overall facility manager. A minimum set of fi nancial management tasks includes: ■ budget preparation and cash fl ow projection ■ budget allotments and expenditures ■ management of cash income and expenses ■ fi nancial monitoring and reporting ■ the use of fi nancial information to make decisions.
How to prepare a budget and cash fl ow projection A health centre budget outlines how fi nancial resources will be used over a defi ned period of time, usually one year. Two main steps in budget preparation include projecting all expenses that will be incurred at the health centre, and matching them with expected revenues and budget allocations. Additional cash fl ow projections help to ensure that income and expenditure match throughout the year, and the health centre is able to meet costs as they incur. Budget development is an essential part of the planning process. Determining resource needs and associated costs Th e starting point for budgeting is a list of the resources needed to carry out all activities throughout the year required to maintain the health centre and to provide its services. It is useful to also list resources that are directly provided to the centre and that are fi nanced from other budgets (e.g. staff or medication paid directly by the district authorities). Leaving out these in-kind contributions hides the real cost of services delivery, and makes it hard to determine how to make the service sustainable in the future. Th e budget includes two types of resource needs and costs: ■ Fixed costs: remain constant and are independent from the exact level of activity within the capacity of the centre. Such costs include most salaries, equipment leases or payments, rent and utilities. Some fi xed costs also change with the level of activity – such as the number of staff needed. ■ Variable costs: depend on the level of activity such as the number of patients treated. Such costs include care consumables, drug costs and transportation costs for home visits etc. Variable costs are usually specifi ed “per unit” of delivery (e.g. drug needs and costs for one patient on fi rst-line ART) and multiplied by an estimated “number of units” (e.g. the number of patients expected to be on fi rst-line ART in the facility). It is recommended to use a budgeting sheet and to sub-divide the list of resources into various categories. For each resource (e.g. staff ), you need to specify the type of costs associated (e.g. salary) and time period, (usually 12 months), and at what cost per unit (e.g. US 300 Dollars (USD) per month). Standard categories are recommended by district authorities and ideally the same categories are used for budgeting, accounting and reporting. Th ose categories may include: ■ staff ; ■ physical infrastructure and building operating costs; ■ medical supplies, equipment and consumables; ■ communication; ■ transportation including vehicle operating costs and travel; ■ replacement costs (depreciation) – Th is is a provision for long-term assets (such as vehicles/machinery/computers/lab equipment) that deteriorate over time and have to be replaced at the end of their usefulness. Some money needs to be set aside every year for future purchases to replace these assets . Determining funding sources For many public programmes there will be only one source of funding, i.e. the district health service, or the provincial or national health department. However, some public facilities – and usually all private facilities – might also receive private funding or charge fees to generate income. Th e “unifi ed budget” prepared in the previous step will be of great help in managing incoming funds. Th is is because the same listing of activities and resource needs can be used to demonstrate which funds are used towards what purpose. Th is is a process of “earmarking” that will ensure that the use of funds remains within the originally intended purpose. It will also facilitate donor reporting. Assigning incoming funds to expenditures is best achieved by appending specifi c “donor columns” to the budgeting sheet. Projecting cash fl ow Cash fl ow projections are needed to ensure that each month enough money is available (in cash or in the allotment) to cover all anticipated fi nancial obligations. Cash fl ow projections are done on the basis of the health centre’s budget, detailing the amount of expenditures, and when they occur.). Cash fl ow projections are best made for each month of the budget year, and should outline: ■ how much money is available a the beginning of the month; ■ what funds will be received during the month; and ■ How much money is expected to be spent during the month. Th e remaining balance should be zero or a positive amount and should be carried forward to the next month. Prudent fi nancial management requires that as part of cash fl ow processes, management fi xed management costs be prioritized over other expenses; otherwise operations could be brought to a halt. How tomanage allotments “Invisible money” is allocated to a health centre based on a budget (see previous sub-section) that defi nes certain expenditure categories. To keep track of expenditures against such allotments, a logbook of all expenditures should be kept that will allow the manager to track how much money has been spent, and how much money is still available. Th is logbook is usually called “allotment ledger”. In the ledger, the manager registers all fund allocations (credits) and all expenditures (debits). For each transaction, the date is registered, as well as a reference to further documentation on the transaction . At any point in time, the amount debited can be totalled and deducted from the amount credited. Th e ledger can combine all expenditure categories, or break them down according to main categories. Usually, the district offi ce will provide a specifi c format for such a ledger. Expenditures against allotments are made in the form of “purchase orders” or “vouchers”, that will allow the allotment holder (e.g. the district health administration) to make the payment. Each purchase order needs to be duly signed at the health centre and by the health district administration. Purchase orders and payment vouchers are usually pre-printed and serially numbered). Managers who have the responsibility of authorizing expenditures and purchases need to ensure that; 1) the purchase is justifi ed and within the scope of planned activities; 2) the cost is competitive; 3) the transaction is properly documented, and; 4) suffi cient funds are available to make the purchase. How tomanage cash Most health centres need to have some reserves to cover small cash expenses (“petty cash”). Th is cash is advanced to the manager based on the budget, and subtracted from the allotment. Th e provision of a cash advance for specifi c purposes is called a “petty cash fund”. Th e types of expenses that can be covered by the petty cash fund vary from place to place but may include: ■ transportation such as bus fares, petrol; ■ communication such as stamps and phone calls; ■ cleaning needs such as soap, detergent; ■ stationary such as paper, envelopes. ■ sundries such as matches, candles, tea, emergency supplies. A petty cash fund is a fi xed amount of cash (e.g. $US 50) from disbursements that are made for the purchase of goods or services. Th e cash is kept in a safe place to which only the manager has access. It is important that each time cash is taken out, the transaction is documented in a logbook (“petty cash book”), and supported by evidence for its use (“voucher” and “receipt”). When the petty cash fund is nearing its exhaustion (e.g. aft er having spent $US 40) the manager will total all expenditures. Th e remaining balance will be “brought forward (B/F)” and the petty cash fund will be replenished to the original level (e.g. by adding $US 40 to reach the original level of $US 50). Petty cash books are usually standardized to list - (in table form) each transaction, the date, the purpose, the number of a referring voucher/purchase order, and the amount paid or received. It is possible to add additional columns to break down expenses by certain categories). Th e voucher documenting each transaction is fi lled out when funds are given out and signed by both the authorizing offi cer and the receiving staff (e.g. the driver). It is important to attach the original receipt for expenditures to all purchase orders and vouchers if possible (e.g. a receipt from a petrol station - Certain health centres may also receive cash, usually in form of service fees or from sales of drugs or other commodities. For each transaction, a receipt is issued in three duplicates: one for the client, one to accompany the cash, and one that stays in the receipt book. Such receipts are usually provided in the form of books of numbered receipts). Just as with expenditures, all cash revenues are kept in a safe place and are recorded in a “revenue book” indicating clearly for each transaction the date, amount, and purpose. Periodically, the manager will turn over funds to the district fi nancial offi cer, together with copies of used and unused receipts. How to report on the use of funds Th e manager is expected to show the appropriate use of fi nances and to demonstrate how their use relates to expenses set out in the work plan and budget. One’s ability to do so depends on the availability of a well developed budget and well kept up to date allotment records. In some cases, the facility manager will be able to complement records held at the health centre with offi cial records and fi nancial statements from the allotment holder. Implementation progress reports and fi nancial reports are normally required to comply with specifi c formats and to cover defi ned time periods). Financial controls Financial control procedures are essential for eff ective resource management. Even for a facility that employs accountants and other fi nancial personnel, the facility manager bears the ultimate responsibility for ensuring all resources entrusted to him or her are fully accounted for. It is important that the facility puts in place guidelines, policies and rules and an eff ective fi nancial control system that ensures fi nancial accountability see the good fi nancial management checklist). Finally, it is advisable that at least once a year, the fi nancial transactions of the facility are audited. A number of tangible goods and structures are needed to successfully provide services at the health centre, including: ■ physical infrastructure and buildings ■ equipment and machinery, including vehicles ■ drugs, commodities and supplies. Various chapters in this manual describe how to design appropriate space distribution and use, how to choose and maintain laboratory equipment, and how to plan for eff ective procurement of drugs and commodities. However, as a manager, you are expected to ensure that all of this hardware remains functional all the time. To this end, you will need to make plans and reserve budget for: ■ regular maintenance of all hardware, including machinery, vehicles, and buildings; ■ supplies to use hardware, such as test kits for lab equipment and petrol for vehicles; ■ repair of failing hardware; ■ replacement of hardware once it has reached a predefi ned period of use or fails beyond repair. From a practical point of view it is recommended that all maintenance and replacement actions be marked in the yearly facility planner to avoid a lack of critical hardware in the centre). In addition, if replacement hardware needs to be purchased by the health centre, a budget allocation for “depreciation” of the hardware needs to be made. Th e facility manager is challenged to juggle a range of important management responsibilities and tasks, and at the same time to ensure the smooth running of the health centre. Th e key challenge for any manager is the limited availability of time. A fi rst step to managing your time as effi ciently as possible is to examine how your working time is actually spent. Normally, managers will spend signifi cant portions of their time on: ■ management and administrative tasks, including development of work plans, budgets and reports; ■ meeting with health workers help them work better together as a team; ■ meeting with patients, the community and other external partners; ■ interacting with the district level authorities; ■ travelling and attending of workshops; ■ learning and continued education; ■ clinical work. Th e challenge is to reduce time spent on lower priorities and to free time for priority tasks that would otherwise be neglected. Some proven “time savers” and “time managers” are: ■ learn to say “no” ■ rationally delegate and distribute work within the team ■ use meetings wisely; run meetings eff ectively ■ have a strategy for dealing with interruptions ■ be aware of time wasters. An important tool to use time eff ectively is to structure the work routine so that important tasks receive specifi c, regular time slots. Recommended fi xed time slots include: ■ health care team meetings ■ supervisor briefi ngs ■ community meetings ■ time for budget review ■ time for report preparations. Successful managers use calendars and to-do lists to structure time demands and to ensure that no important tasks are forgotten. Important tasks and events are best kept on a yearly wall calendar, on which each line represents one month, with each day having one fi eld. As a manager, you should include the following information on this planner: ■ important dates on which action on contractual issues is needed; absences of team members (participation in training, vacation); a time slot for a yearly patient satisfaction survey, time for supervisory visits, and community health committee meetings; ■ managing information: time slots for preparation of routine patient monitoring reports, due dates for progress reports, dates of important meetings with partners; ■ managing fi nances: budget preparation and reporting deadlines, fi nancial monitoring visits; ■ managing hardware: hardware inspection dates, maintenance dates, ordering deadlines for supplies and hardware; ■ managing care: review and revision of current care and prevention routine, time slots for checks on adherence to patient and staff safety policies. Planning is a critical tool for time management, but there should always be enough time set aside to anticipate unplanned events and to listen to staff , patients and community members.
'Leadership and management - chalk and cheese'
'There is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership is of the spirit,
compounded of personality and vision; its practice is an art. Management is of the mind, a matter
of accurate calculation - its practice is a science. Managers are necessary; leaders are essential.'
Leadership and management are as different as chalk and cheese. My views have formed over many years as a UK healthcare manager and, particularly, as a result of my research on leadership from the perspective of family doctors (
Good managers do not necessarily make good leaders, and good leaders do not necessarily make good managers. Each has a distinct role. Leadership qualities are far less tangible and measurable whilst most management processes can be measured.
'Managers do things right . . . leaders do the right things.'
There is clearly something about effective leaders that makes them stand out from the crowd. I find it impossible to identify and quantify that elusive quality. When I look back through my own career, I have had superiors who are clearly leaders and those who are clearly managers. From my experience with my own past bosses, I have noted that . . .
1) Have high levels of integrity
2) Are focused on the bigger picture
3) Are not comfortable with "intense detail"
4) Make me (their direct reports) feel part of their vision
5) Do not punish mistakes - but, rather, see mistakes as learning opportunities
6) Challenge the status quo
7) Are not afraid of being unpopular
1) Are process driven
2) Are comfortable with detail
3) Are more interested in the bottom line than the wider vision
4) Want to measure everything
5) Are not comfortable challenging the corporate view
I think the difference is around the words 'hard' and 'soft.' My experience of effective managers is they tend to be very good at the hard stuff. They are concerned with measurable outcomes - sometime obsessed with process at all costs. They appear to be driven by the need to prove their effectiveness in some tangible way. But leaders, on the other hand, are also interested in the soft stuff - the immeasurable, the anecdote, the story.
One downfall of focusing only on the hard stuff can be seen in the following example.
One day, a manager was very stressed and volunteered up information to a colleague that he was worried about the annual staff appraisals he ' had to do ' for his department. A few days later, the pair met again and the manager was now relaxed. He explained that he had completed all of the appraisals - he had taken out appraisal files, ticked boxes, and updated them without speaking to members of his staff. As far as he was concerned, he'd done what was expected if him - he had ' done his appraisals, ' literally filling in forms and ticking boxes.
Effective leaders, in my experience, are generally not as interested in the detail of process but, rather, they need to be assured there is a process. Paradoxically, oftentimes, the effective leader will be interested in some things that may appear trivial to ' non-leaders. ' For example, many of us have worked in organisations that proclaim:
'We value our staff'
'We are an equal opportunities employer'
'We value diversity'
Picture a wet, cold, and dark winter morning - a 6 a.m. early morning shift for a cleaner who parks his or her car in the staff parking lot 200 yards from the staff entrance. As he/she fights her way through the cold wind and rain to the building entrance, the cleaner notices the empty car park spaces reserved for Directors, Consultants, and Chief Executive, positioned immediately outside the main entrance. The cleaner cannot help him/herself from thinking that the company's mission statement somehow just doesn't ring true.
The effective leader will be interested in the feelings of that cleaner. Quite often, the leader will solve the problem. But even if the leader cannot solve the problem, the fact that the leader is interested at all will spread around the organisation quicker than the speed of light. Small things are important - leadership is not only about the big picture.
In my experience, good leaders surround themselves with people who buy into their vision. And leaders always seem to be striving for improvement and, though not a 'change junkie,' good leaders constantly question the status quo. We can learn a great deal about management and leadership - particularly about leaders' unquenchable thirst for improvement - by studying sport.
It is interesting that in the first media interview with Alex Ferguson, leader of Manchester United, after United won the Premiership Trophy for the eighth time in eleven years, Ferguson was full of references to 'how we need to improve this team for next season.' Ferguson is formally called the 'Manager' of Manchester United; however, to me, he is clearly the ' leader ' of the team. I suspect he is not interested in the intricate processes involved in running one of the biggest sporting organisations in the world. But at the same time there are legendary tales of his detailed knowledge of what goes on in and around the club. It is also interesting that he has achieved his current high standing without formal management training - aside from 'The University of Life.'
Another famous football 'Manager' was Bill Shankly of Liverpool Football Club. Shankly spoke the immortal words 'Always change a winning team' - an interesting variation of the better-known saying 'Never change a winning team.' Again, Shankly was a leader with an impressive list of achievements - yet his formal management training was probably nil.
Both of these leaders possess an ability to inspire others to sign up to their vision, which separates the leaders from the managers. Somehow these leaders inspire followers who will go the extra mile. I suggest it is not - in their case - an academic understanding of the science of management or leadership. It is probably some personal characteristic that is not tangible.
Finally, I would suggest that leaders are generally born - not made. I doubt that people can learn how to be a leader from reading, studying, or listening to lectures. There is something that makes leaders stand out from the rest of us. Leadership training is worthwhile - it is possible to teach leadership techniques, and leadership competencies are becoming more widely used in management academia. I suspect that what emerges through the 'leadership development' process will be good managers who become good leaders. But the outstanding, natural leader will not need that training. Some of the greatest leaders in history never received training in the art of leadership - it came to them naturally and we should celebrate that mystical quality - even if we cannot measure it.
At the same time, let us remember that leaders are in the minority and most of us mere mortals are very effective foot soldiers (and we should celebrate this!). Many would argue that wars are won by foot soldiers - not colonels. There is no question that managers and leaders are both important - both play crucial roles in organisations. But likewise, it is important to acknowledge that good managers and good leaders are not one and the same.
'Leaders say this is where we are going' and 'Managers say this is how we are going to get there'
• Coming in from the cold can help boost the creativity of leaders
• Think big while also paying attention to the details
• The qualities of skilful leadership
• Simplicity - survival tips for managers
• What I know about people
• Efficient and Effective Managers
• Five leadership skills that increase engagement
• Taking advantage of leadership opportunities . . .
• Leadership and management - chalk and cheese
• A radical approach to becoming a great leader
• Becoming a motivational leader
• Truth and trust - they go together
• The power of praising people
• Managers versus Leaders
• Genuine and Caring Leadership
• The Maximus Principle - Casualties are Acceptable
• Lessons from Geese
• Great Expectations
• The foundations of leadership
• Communicating Vision
• A short course in human relations
• Building a team of Proactive People
• The parable of Brother Leo
• Managing and motivating - five ingredients
• 10 tips for creating and running effective meetings
• What the best bosses do
• People who make a difference in life have . . .