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Caroselli, Marlene - Leadership Skills For Managers

Caroselli, Marlene - Leadership Skills For Managers - 1...

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J ack Welch, CEO of General Electric, is reported to have called his direct reports together one day. He issued a three- word dictum—”Don’t manage! Lead!”—and then promptly left the room. Many were left wondering, “What’s the difference?” That’s an important question, so it seems logical that we begin a book on leadership by examining the difference between managing and leading, between a manager and a leader. What Is a Manager? The classic definition of a manager is one who gets done through other people. You may be planning, directing, control- ling, hiring, delegating, assigning, organizing, motivating, disci- plining, or doing any number of other things managers do on a daily basis. No matter what you do, though, you are working toward a goal by helping others do their work. You are a manager if: 1 What Is a Leader? 1
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1. You direct the work, rather than perform it. Are you fre- quently tempted to pitch in on a regular basis or to do the work yourself, rather than delegate? If so, you’re not spending your time wisely or well. Occasionally, you may have to roll up your sleeves and work with the team on a rush project. Remember, though, you were hired to man- age the staff’s work—not to be part of the staff. 2. You have responsibilities for hiring, firing, training, and dis- ciplining employees. Staff development is an important part of your job. Such development often determines whether staff members stay with an organization or leave for better opportunities. In addition to regular performance appraisals, you should work with each person you manage to deter- mine a career path. 3. You exercise authority over the quality of work and the conditions under which it is performed . As a manager, your first obligation is to your people. In part, this obligation means you work to ensure a safe environment for them and to uncover potential threats to that environment. (Does your team know what to do, for example, if all the lights suddenly went out or if a bomb threat were received?) The obligation also means you owe your customers—internal or external—the highest-quality outputs. 4. You serve as a liaison between employees and upper man- agement. Managers wear many hats. Among them: traffic cop, psychologist, coach, minister, diplomat, and envoy. In this role, you serve as the link between those doing the work and those who need or benefit from the work being done. The liaison serves as a buffer, a praiser, a translator, and a seeker-of-resources to ensure the work is done more efficiently and the employees are recognized when they’ve completed it. 5. You motivate employees and contribute to a culture of accomplishment. You’ve no doubt heard that the difference Leadership Skills for Managers 2
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between ordinary and extraordinary is “that little extra.” If you’re totally committed to your job as manager, then you’re aware of the need to motivate, to instill pride, to cre- ate a climate in which innovation can flourish.
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