Monday, February 2, 2015

Make artWORK: Leadership and People Management

By Shawn René Graham

Whether you are consciously aware of it or not, on some level, you are continually leading yourself and others – you don’t necessarily have to have a large team reporting to you to be considered a leader or to need effective leadership skills.  Once you have taken on that leadership role, you should also assess your effectiveness throughout the year.

Here is an exercise you can use often:

·      Think about what you actually do on a daily basis.  Draw generalizations about how you spend your leadership time.  Complete the Leadership Behavior Chart below.
·      The central question is this: Is your leadership behavior out of sync with the way that you feel an effective leader should be spending his or her energy?

Think about your daily interaction with the people you lead.   Generally speaking, determine the actual behaviors that define that interaction.   Using the list of behaviors below, determine the amount of time (in percentages) that you generally spend on each behavior.  Then in the second column, determine what you feel would be ideal distribution of time (in percentages).
Percentage of time spent on each behavior
Ideally the percentage of time you would devote to each behavior


Clarifying or Justifying



Brainstorming or Envisioning

Reflecting (Quiet Time for Thinking)



Resolving interpersonal conflicts

Praising and/or encouraging

Don’t know how to get to your ideal percentage times for each behavior?  Here are some key buckets and strategies that you can employ that can move you even closer to your ideal distribution of behavior?

1. Business Management
Managing a business effectively is the key to the establishment and growth of the business. The key to successful management is to examine the marketplace environment. Despite the importance of management, this area is often misunderstood and poorly implemented, primarily because people focus on the output rather than the process of management. Planning is essential for developing a firm’s potential. However, many small businesses do not recognize the need for long-range plans, because the small number of people involved in operating the business implies equal responsibility in the planning and decision-making processes. Nevertheless, the need for planning is as important in a small business as it is in a large one.
2. Setting Duties Tasks and Responsibilities
An organization is characterized by the nature and determination of employees’ duties, tasks and responsibilities. While many organizations use different methods for determining these it is essential that they be clearly defined.
3. Controlling Conflict
Another key to successful management lies in controlling conflict. Conflict cannot be eliminated from either the business or the interpersonal activities of the enterprise. A measure of the organization’s success is the degree to which conflict can be exposed and the energies associated with it channeled to develop your organization.
4. Organization Structure
The essence of a successful organization can be more simply summarized than implemented and the effectiveness of a particular organizational form depends on a variety of internal and external events. To get the best results you must have an idea about various aspects of the market such as activities and number of competitors. Even though you may discover that certain events are affecting your business be careful not to change the organizational structure of your firm without discussing it with your team. Because restructuring involves spending a lot of time learning new rules, implementing a new organizational structure is costly.
5. Delegation of Authority
Delegation is a key to the effective exercise of authority in your business. By delegating limited authority to accomplish specific tasks the talents of employees in the organization can be used to upgrade the skills and experience of the manager. You must coordinate and control work of your collaborators effectively. To effectively delegate responsibility and authority in your organization you must know the capabilities of each person you are working with. Ensure that specific training and information is available and provide periodic monitoring and interest which should be praised and criticized as per performance. The skills and abilities of each level of authority can be increased by effectively delegating authority throughout any organization.

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