Leadership and Management Traits and Theories

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Leadership and Management Traits and Theories

Cheri Adams

HCA340: Managing in Health & Human Services

Instructor: Celya Tilley
October 3, 2011

Leadership and Management Traits and Theories

An article from The Leadership Quarterly reported on a study: found that by and large, many bosses today are dishonest with and about their workers. The study specifically pointed out some damming evidence reported by workers about the honesty of their bosses: • 39% said their supervisors had failed to keep promises. • 37% said their supervisors had failed to give credit when due. • 31% said their supervisors had given them the "silent treatment" in the past year. • 27% said their supervisors had made negative comments about them to other employees or managers. • 24% said their supervisors had invaded their privacy. • 23% said their supervisors had blamed others to cover up mistakes or to minimize embarrassment (The National Learning Institute, 2007). Florida State University, the authors of the report, suggests that such dishonesty creates problems for companies such as poor moral, lower production and higher turnover. These results confirm my own research in interviews and focus groups with managers and their employees over the last twenty years. I too found that the major reason why people leave an organization is because of poor management and leadership. People don't leave a company they leave their boss! What may surprise some readers is that the Florida State study also confirmed many earlier studies about the relationship between pay and turnover. It found that a good working environment is more important than pay and that "employees were more likely to leave if involved in an abusive relationship than if dissatisfied with pay (The National Learning Institute, 2007). Leadership is the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals. It is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow, for example, a leader is the spearhead for that new direction. Leadership sets a direction or vision that others follow, without considering too much how the new direction is going to be achieved. Other people then have to work hard in the trail that is left behind, picking up the pieces and making it work. Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal (Wikipedia, 2011). I have had many jobs and many diverse managers. The manager that is wanting to be my best friend, one that felt like they were out to get me or find anything wrong and criticize the things that I did. I have also had one that was such a pushover, I have even had some that I hated to work with or even be in the same room with. John Kotter describes management and leadership as “two distinct, yet complimentary systems of actions in organizations.” Planning, budgeting, organizing/starting and controlling/ problem solving are the requirements for the management process according to Kotter. Kotter depicts the leadership process as: “(1) Setting a direction for the organization, (2) aligning people with that direction through communication; and (3) Motivating people to action, partly through empowerment and partly through basic need gratification.” (Harvard Business School, 2011).

How much attention do they pay to one or the other? The following is a model defined by Blake and Mouton in the early 1960’s, originally known as the Managerial Grid but later was changed to the Leadership Grid.  |Concern for People |High |Country Club | ...
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