Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

2.6. Components of leadership

ryanrori December 31, 2020

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Authority

Is the right to command or give orders to subordinates.  Managers have the right to perform certain actions according to specific guidelines:  for example, the manager has the right to say who does what in his department.  In reality authority centres with top management, but this authority is delegated to middle and junior managers.

Delegation

Is the process of subdividing tasks and passing a smaller part of it to a subordinate along with the authority required to actually do the job.  As an example, if you want your little sister to help you bake the cake, you have to decide what you are going to let her do.  If she must help you pour the batter in the pans and put the pans in the oven, you must let her do this. 

You must then also allow her to switch the oven on – giving her the job and then telling her she must not switch on the oven or open the oven door to put the pans into the oven, is to give her the job without also giving her the authority to do the job.  In the end she will not be able to do the job properly, since you did not give her the appropriate authority.

Power

Is the ability to influence the behaviour of others without necessarily using his authority.  Power is not earned through the position that a person is in but he has to earn it.  Without power a manager wouldn’t be able to get his subordinates to voluntarily perform their duties. 

You have to use your powers of persuasion to convince your little sister to help you bake the cake.  This is a form of power.  Coaches of sport teams have authority to do certain things, but they need power in order to convince team members to play according to a specific strategy.  While they may have the authority to get rid of certain players, they also need power to get the team to play as a team and not 11 or 15 individual players.

Good leaders have both power and leadership abilities.

Why is leadership important?

You can buy someone’s physical presence, but you cannot buy loyalty, enthusiasm or devotion. These you must earn. Successful organisations have leaders who focus on the future rather than cling to the past. Leaders bring out the best in people. They spend time developing people into leaders.

Manager vs. Leader

Leadership is a part of the management function.  Management has a much broader scope than leadership – in other words, a manager has to do more than just be a leader.  A good leader should possess the courage to accept responsibility and can probably infuse the same into those around him.

Leaders have to motivate their subordinates to do the work to the best of their abilities day after day.  There are many theories regarding motivation, however it is agreed that people work to fulfil needs. 

  • Needs are the mainsprings of motivation:  The supervisor, who wishes to motivate his people, must be aware of each person’s individual needs.  There are two basic types of needs: innate needs and acquired needs.
  • Innate needs:  Innate needs are also called primary or inborn needs. These are the need to eat, sleep, drink water, be safe and so on.  Generally speaking, they are not conditioned by experience. Therefore, there is not much a supervisor can do to satisfy these needs.
  • Acquired needs:  are also called secondary needs. These needs, unlike the innate needs, are dependent upon experience. That is, they are learned needs.  This would include the need to drive to work in your own car rather than making use of public transport, the need to dress expensively, the need to own a house with a pool, etc.  These needs vary from person to person.

Part of the leading function of a manager is to find out what motivates his subordinates.  An employee can easily sense when his boss disapproves of him. 

If a manager makes it clear by his attitude and actions, that he dislikes one of his people, this will cause anxiety, tension and frustration in that person. This is called management by expectation.

On the other hand, if the supervisor makes it clear by his attitude and actions that he is willing to help his people, that group will become motivated.

Effective managers are those who have made a commitment to improve their ability to influence and to motivate others. In being expressive and supportive, they make room for their own humanity, continuing to learn and grow along with the people they work with. They do not always do things perfectly, but they do things! They do not always say profound things, but they say something! They can laugh and be serious; they can be inconsistent and still know how to follow through on important priorities. They can be firm and, at times, flexible. They don’t have to be anything; they are able to be effective and realistic.

Never let the freedom and challenge to grow become an obligation to be perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect manager!