4 Fundamental Management Tasks

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1. Introduction

The 4 fundamental management tasks are Planning, Organising, Leadership and Control. 1. Planning – Planning involves mapping out exactly how to achieve a particular goal. This is the first component of management. A manager needs to determine what the organisations goals are and how to achieve them. Setting objectives for goals and following up on the execution of the plans are two critical components of planning

2. Organising – A manager needs to organise her/his team and materials according to her/his plan. Assigning work and granting authority are two important elements of organising. A manager is responsible for organising staff, resources, tool and work schedules to achieve the organisations set goals and objectives. Without the correct organising in the work place, employees will see their managers as unprepared and loose respect for their supervisory techniques.

3. Leadership – Leading involves motivation, communicating, guiding and encouraging. It requires the manager to coach, assist and problem solve. Good leadership requires deep human qualities, beyond conventional notions of authority. Leaders are an enabling force, helping people and organisations to perform, develop, succeed and reach their set goal.

4. Control – Controlling involves continuously monitoring the organisations results against the set goals and to take corrective action necessary to make sure the planned goals are on track. Managers need to pay attention to cost versus performance of the organisation.

I will be discussing Leadership and Control. It is important to understand that Leadership and Control on its own cannot make an organisation successful. In figure 6.1 you will see that all four Fundamental Management tasks are needed to create the success of an organisation.

2. Leadership

“Leadership is solving problems. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you don’t care. Either case is a failure of leadership.” Collin Powel

A definition of leadership is described as a process of influencing and directing of the behaviour employees to work willingly to strive towards the accomplishing the goals and objectives of the organisation.

1. The nature of Leadership
Leadership is clearly a process of social influence directed at stimulating action towards achieving the goals of the business. The word leader can be used in two ways namely it can be someone that ‘takes the lead’ it can also refer to the management of subordinates. The latter is what applies to the management task of leadership. Someone could be an outstanding entrepreneur but a poor leader. They could find it difficult to motivate staff, delegate responsibility, and inspire them to achieve greater achievements or develop their skills. You could also be a great leader but poor at being a manager. Figure 6.2 illustrates the process of developing managers in to leaders. It is possible for the same person to take the place of both leader and manager.

Leadership have components which are Authority, Power, Responsibility, Delegation and Accountability.

Authority gives the right to give commands to and demand action from employees. Managers are responsible for ensuring that employees work together to achieve the organisations goals. With a position of management comes formal authority thus is the right to give instructions, allocate resources and demand action from employees. In order to influence the behaviour of others a leader must gain the respect of their subordinates.

Power is a manager’s ability to influence their employee’s behaviour. Power is one of the key elements associated with leadership. There are five forms of power and they determine whether a leader is effective or ineffective in influencing subordinates and securing their commitment to organisational goals. Power is linked to both the person and the...
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