Friday, May 26, 2017

Participatory Management Skills That Define Today’s Strong Leaders

As an entry-level manager and administrator. I made an all-out effort to learn whatever I needed to know to be successful. In the beginning, I concentrated on learning the basics, which every manager knows involves the intricacies of planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling. Of course, these functions are important to operating any business effectively. But I learned over a forty-four-year management career that the most misunderstood function of management, yet just as important and much harder to grasp, is leadership.

That’s because for years leadership has been associated with that part of the management process involved in directing and controlling. My superiors referred to those who lead with an iron fist as strong managers. And so my career began with an understanding that I needed to be an autocratic manager to be successful.

But over the years all that changed. Participatory styles of management became the new paradigm. Management that encouraged and empowered employees to make recommendations and participate in decision-making became the norm. Part of the reason for this needed change was that effective managers finally realized that they did not have all the answers.

Managers now need to not only be good at the technical intricacies of management but also need to be good motivational leaders.

They need to have a working understanding of other management styles because today’s good leaders employ different styles as circumstances dictate. When there are no alternatives, when immediate decisions are imperative, a manager must employ an autocratic style.

Today’s effective manager requires them to be out of their office every day, interacting with all members of their team. Leadership today requires management awareness that you cannot lead without everyone in the organization working together as a team; therefore, managers must possess skills at motivating, coaching, cheerleading, and building a team spirit. So it’s imperative that managers be good listeners, skilled at receiving as well as giving constructive feedback. Effective managers do not resent challenges to their authority and are able to work with people who may disagree with them. They have the ability to recognize unofficial leaders in their team and work through them in order to meet corporate and operational objectives, empowering them to work on their behalf.

In today’s world, managers who possess these interdisciplinary skills will generally have successful operations. Unlike the days of the “it’s my way or the highway” autocrat, it’s what defines managers as effective and strong leaders.

(This article was first published on the Yahoo Contributors Network on December 5, 2013)

Copyright © 2017 Horatio Green