Effectiveness of a Leader
A leader is a head of a business and manages the whole system like head manages body. Decision made by brain influences every cell of a human’s body. In order to build a system of effectively functioning business, a leader must successfully implement the following functions:
First, set up tasks for employees and control results. Every second each employee has to be busy doing a particular task. If a woman, an office-manager, is busy painting her nails and answering the phone and doing nothing else but sitting in a chair most of the work time, then your money goes down the drain. The employees will have an opportunity to be doing nothing depending on how the tasks are set. In the conditions of tough competition a leader must pay close attention not only to WHAT their people are doing but to HOW they do it as well. That is why besides setting up tasks it is necessary to constantly improve skills and abilities of your employees, develop and teach your people.
Second, a leader must process information quickly and skillfully and direct it appropriately in his business. Information is the key to success in the competitive market but it can be dangerous depending on certain criteria.
After obtaining any information it is necessary to work out a habit to answer three questions:
- What did I learn?
- What actions do I need to take based on that information?
- Who else needs to know this information?
Third, a leader is responsible for coordination of all activities of the whole organization, you and every subordinate of yours must be on time in a certain place, with all necessary equipment, correct instructions, resources and information to accomplish particular results. In most of our companies there is absolute mess in the organization system. You have probably observed guards in the stores who contemptuously look at all customers and evaluate ladies that pass them by - is that part of their functional duties? Basically, the only thing they do is destroy the image of the company and get paid for that. And there are hundreds of such examples: jockeys, guards, secretaries, loaders – they all have to know how to dress, how to behave themselves with clients, how to communicate, what can be done and what can’t, and, at least, be sober and neat at work. They are the people who create first impression about the company, and first impression influences decision on future cooperation. Coordination of work activities has to be done at all levels beginning with drivers and cleaners and finishing with top-managers, and if your loaders are sleeping at work – this is your responsibility!
And there are two more functions that get deprived of leaders’ attention of small and medium sized businesses because of everyday routine. These two functions influence the future of the company. They are – acquiring resources providing the company with up to date information, research work, new projects, financial resources and everything that is needed to move the company forward, attending conferences, communication with experts, evaluation of competitors, etc. If you do not have time for that and you are not involved in the process of selection, search for new technologists, then afterwards you will have to either deal with the mess which you will get as a result, or pay and pay out of your pocket.
And the last function – long-term planning – everybody knows about it but the issues of strategic development are usually solved without any management tools which leads later on to management mistakes and the price of each can equal the cost of the whole business. Nobody knows the needs of your department or your company better than you. You may not have the authority to buy new products but you had better present your suggestions on your department, company, each employee, etc. development and put them on the boss’s desk because if you do not have them, you get in the situation which is called “the tail that wags the dog”. “What happened? What should we do now? Force majeure!!!” The best companies are proactive, they lead in new technologies implementation, they are – the first to create a new product, the first to occupy a new niche in the market because they plan, they are prepared and competitive.
There is no perfection, the world of business changes impetuously, development never stops and for those owners who already have a built up business system, there are two options: increase its scale several times or in some time get an unprofitable system in which desperate and ineffective personnel works and which brings in money by now only due to the inertness factor, slowly but surely reducing the owner’s income. In practice, solving a problem costs five times more than its preventing and up-to-the-minute success kills a company faster than its failures.
Leaders in “transitional market” have to work and accomplish results here and now. At the same time, they don’t have such a luxury as professional experience in the past which could have been used to solve the issues that arise in these business conditions. What worked well yesterday today has a slightly different effect, and tomorrow may bring totally opposite results. Often the main motive for leaders’ actions is what they call instinct, intuition or a habit and success is measured exclusively by accomplished short-term results. They were thrown into the sea and they have to learn to swim without a coach and without a practice in the school swimming pool. If the companies make profit today their leaders think that they have received a confirmation of their success in their role of a business leader. In the end “what, if not the results of today, is the measurement of success”? And they come up with a conclusion that a short-term result is the highest goal. Nobody already remembers the price that was paid to accomplish this goal. There is actually a certain share of truth in this, but can we call such style of leadership effective?
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