Think of the first job you had as a teenager. Maybe you worked for a fast-food establishment; maybe you stocked shelves at the local grocery store. Was your boss someone who inspired you, who challenged you on your strengths or did your boss primarily create your work schedule and give you tasks? If you answered yes to the latter, you most likely had a shift manager and probably not a very good one. In fact, if you were in your teens, your shift manager was probably only in their twenties, with only a little more life experience than you. There is a monumental difference between being a manager and being a manager who is also a leader. Some people are natural-born leaders, most can evolve into greatness with a willingness to learn, an open mind and a confident spirit. The graphic below from Mindtools.com illustrates the transformation of a person just ordering everyone around into a true leader.

Evolving Into a Leader

There are people with great ideas who are not comfortable with their people and communication skills. Fantastic career paths are out there for brilliant minds, but for the introverted personality, management it not the right path. It is imperative to be able to not only communicate effectively with subordinates, but with vendors, the executive team, the public and, of course, customers. Each exchange with each of these groups requires tact, charm and confidence. A leader has to be the champion of her team to her boss, as well as be the embassador of the executive officers to her subordinates. A leader assuages fears and rumors, articulates progress to stakeholders, charms potential investors, and is the symbolic figurehead to the public when she is networking.

A manager-leader is intuitive and has a passion about helping her team be the best they can be with the strengths and talents they uniquely possess. She can sense when one of her teammates is discouraged, unchallenged, stuck and anxious. She has patience to listen but has the discipline to keep the conversation on tangent. She recognizes each of her subordinates’ currency. This means she knows what kind of recognition and/or reward has the most value. She doesn’t play favorites; she shields her worries and concerns, especially of the personal nature, from her team; she keeps a real perspective, and with her, the glass is always half-full.

Did this section describe your first manager? Does it describe your current manager? Is this you? Take our leadership quiz and find out!

How Good Are Your Leadership Skills?

By Lisa Landis 


New Challenges to Offer Your Emerging Leader*

• Participate in new company projects
• Participation on teams to meet new challenges
• Introduce them to new groups in the organization and community
• Have them attend seminars and conferences
• Include them in the organizational decision-making process

*Goldstein, J & Tripoli, C. (2010). How to Turn Good Managers Into Great Leaders. RestaurantOwner.com (May 21)

By Lisa Landis 

Transitioning From a Great Manager to a Great Leader*

If you are an executive, grooming one of your managers to be a great leader, here are some common characteristics that your manager should already have:
• They say what they do, they do all that they say
• They attract quality staff, they make good hires
• Sales and profits have grown since they became managers
• They always have new ideas to share for improving processes, products and systems
• Other managers seek out their advice

*Goldstein, J & Tripoli, C. (2010). How to Turn Good Managers Into Great Leaders. RestaurantOwner.com (May 21)

By Lisa Landis 

Does Power Corrupt?

Now that your amazing manager is on his way to becoming a leader, is there a chance he may not know how to exert his authority or power?  If the executive team has done the job in preparing a manager for a leadership role, one can hope the candidate has a healthy self-esteem; confident but not ego-driven.  If that is the case, then our manager-leader will exert the positive and not the negative types of power.  What are the kinds of power managers exert?*

Coercive Power: involves the usage of threat to make people do what they want. Threats include threats of transferring, firing, demotions, etc.
Reward Power: uses rewards, perks, new projects or training opportunities.
Legitimate Power: emanates from an official position held by someone, be it an organization, bureaucracy or government. For this subject, it is power granted by the executive team or by the nature of the position.
Expert Power: the skills and expertise possessed by an individual which is of higher quality and has high credibility.
Referent Power: power given to generally celebrities, it is the influence the celebrity has over his or her fans.

*Staff. (2013) Different Types of Power. Managementstudyguide.com. Retrieved from www.managementstudyguide.com/types-of-power.htm

A leader can take advantage of her rock-star status with her referent power.  If she has a young group of subordinates, walking the talk will create loyalty and inspiration.  When people have a buy-in with their manager, they will do just about anything asked of them, as long as the manager-leader is the real deal.

By Lisa Landis 

Leadership Type

What Type of Leader will You Be?

This leadership style test will show you where you rank in the characteristics of Ambassador, advocate, people mover, truth seeker, creative builder, an experienced guide. Once you complete the short 30-question test your results and descriptions of the various roles will be provide.

ADVICE: You may not specifically identify with any of the below public figures, and as a leader you will be the embodiment of your own personal style, which will likely be an amalgam of many different types of leadership. Even the figures below cannot be confined by absolutes, but rather their dominant characteristic is described below.

  1. Charismatic –President Obama

Many feel President Obama’s defining characteristic is charisma, and the most apparent example of that was the 2008 presidential campaign. Many people were convinced by the ideas of the president-to-be, but many on the fence were sold by his innate ability to inspire, motivate, and drive people around ideals for change and making a better future for the masses. This inspirational ability is effective, especially when they are surrounded by sound ideals, but charisma can lead people to follow questionable or poor ideas, so even if you have charismatic tendencies, make sure you have sound ideas behind it.

  1. Transformational- Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey

Transformational leaders inspires a fresh way of thinking and no recent example is as apparent as Facebook and Twitter founders, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, respectively. They did not just create a profitable way to connect and share with others over the internet, they revolutionized the way hundreds of millions of people think. This type of monumental change requires more than just a single individual, but it takes a leader to impart their new ideals and mission to others. Their employees were challenged to think outside of conventional wisdom and through this leadership they were able to overhaul the way the world connects with each other.

  1. Strategic- Lee Kun Hee (Samsung Chairman)

Lee Kun Hee embodies the qualities of strategic leadership. He took a company know for high volume, but low quality products, to high volume and high quality products. There had to be a vision because the company was already experiencing moderate success. To take a solid company and turn it into the highest revenue producing electronics company was bold and no one would have followed without a strategy that led clearly from point A to point B. It first takes a comprehension of the industry and the forces acting on the organization. With that understanding it is then possible to look advance into new markets and product lines as sound plans are laid down. The more a leader understands about their business, the more they can affect change for the better.

Cross-Cultural and Ethical Leadership

Regardless of what type or how a leader you are, without having your leadership grounded in ethical and cultural principals you will struggle to succeed. In today’s global market being able to integrate and understand various cultures is a must. Ethics would seem obvious, but after disasters in companies such as Enron, being grounded in ethics is a must.

By Kevin Dancy

Leadership Theory

Now that we have considered the balance between production and people, it is imperative to consider how to lead people. Even a production-centered leader must direct people. People are the means of production and a leader must look to lead individuals, groups, and even an entire business entity. Below we consider the Path-Goal Theory as means to accomplish the effective leading of people.

It is the Leader’s role to define the goals of their subordinates, assist or remove any obstacles or performance deficiencies in route to those goals, and provide any support needed in facilitating the employees efforts to accomplish the goals you set for them.

How can you be a Path-Goal Leader?

  1. Know the goals of your organization. If you do not know what is expected of you, it will be impossible to effectively lead others.
  2. Set Goals for your employees that you believe are achievable based on their experience and abilities.
  3. Reevaluate your employees’ goals. Constantly look to modify or add new goals based on how employees do with what you have assigned to them.
  4. Be prepared to encourage and guide in challenges. This is not a passive process, so employees will need help in guidance. If there is an obstacle in there way you must be prepared to help them find a suitable way around or be prepared to modify the goal.
  5. Keep employees focused. It is easy to lose sight of the big picture in the day-to-day grind.
  6. Be available. Have an open door policy. Your employees must be comfortable to discuss success and struggles with you.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPD8V2Z5sDs]

This skit shows basis Path-Goal leadership in action.

By Kevin Dancy