Sunday, 13 May 2018

The Role and Responsibilities of Managers and Leaders

The Role and Responsibilities of Managers and Leaders

The Role and Responsibilities of Managers and Leaders

There are several ways of defining a leader. The one who leads others is a simple and complete definition. But, then, what are the tasks of a leader? Leadership is a much sought after quality and every organization needs good and effective leaders to lead the organization to success and for achievement of its goals. Some persons are born leaders, for others leadership gets thrust upon. In a given organization, the Head of the Organization or the Chief Executive Officer is accepted as a leader irrespective of his or her possessing the quality of leadership.

Management Gurus, more or less, agree on the following tasks for the leader of any organization, irrespective of its  nature and goals:

A leader must be able to: (1) impart vision and direction to her/his organization (2) affirm and articulate values that she/he cherishes for her/his organization (3) set high standards of performance and raise the level of expectations (4) she/he must make herself/himself accountable
(5) must be able to motivate others within the organization (6) achieve unity in the organization (7) involve others in decision-making.

The leader’s most important task is to clarify the overall goals of the organization. This is what transforms a mere crowd into a community, a directionless mob into a group with a purpose. A crowd in a fair, for instance, is joyous, free spirited but self occupied. In the same way, a gathering  may have individually talented and even highly motivated people but they will achieve nothing if they lack vision or goal to achieve collectively.

The success of leadership depends on personal characteristics that include experience, imagination, persuasiveness, farsightedness, and astuteness in inter-personal dealings.

The leader will not be able take his/her organization very far if he is not able to generate, manage and monitor the use of resources. Most organizations have resources available, but seldom are they sufficient for everything that everyone wants to do. Resources do not manage themselves; allocation and monitoring systems have to be established.  Budget, timetables, staffing plans, policies, procedures and priorities need to be set and worked out.

Empowerment and delegation of authority demands astute handling because humans are not like machines or furniture that can be allocated in a fixed pattern. To select, develop, and share power with subordinates/associates is an art that is not easy to learn or acquire. Winning trust and loyalty of disparate persons can be demanding but is necessary for the task of assigning tasks to others. Decision-making and responsibility need to be dispersed for accomplishing current tasks and preparing others for future leadership.

Relations within and outside an organization play an important role and this is yet another essential task for a leader. Building relations and range of contacts require friendliness, wit, wisdom, negotiation skills, and the ability to entertain or at least to hold the attention of a wide range of people.

A leader also has to be Enterprising because finding new opportunities and creating desirable change is also his/her task. Every organization has certain momentum that imparts it continuity  yet, obsolescence  is a constant challenge for a leader. In large organizations this can require a massive refocusing of people and resources.

Leaders are needed at all levels but most people would want to follow rather than lead.

Finally, a great leader creates more leaders. Like Gandhi.


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