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Via The Seattle Times : When leadership and management work together, change happens

Understanding why we make decisions, who they impact and the effects on ourselves and others are all facets of leadership.

Is leadership different from management? Decades ago, these terms were interchangeable, but not so anymore. They do often share similar skill sets, says Dr. Joel Domingo, associate professor and academic program director of the Doctor of Education in Leadership program at City University of Seattle.

“Both leadership and management involve influence, people and goals,” Domingo says. “While the old adage, ‘you manage tasks but lead people’ still rings true, there are nuanced differences.”

To clarify the distinctions, Domingo suggests you think about your role when making an important decision that may benefit your organization. Those processes of working with the information you have, and decision-making are management skills. At the same time, those skills don’t exist in a vacuum and organizations are made up of people. Understanding why we make decisions, who they impact and the effects on ourselves and others are all facets of leadership.

“Too often we see that people who call themselves leaders often feel like leadership is a place you get when you are promoted out of management,” says Dr. Pressley Rankin IV, academic program director and associate professor at CityU’s School of Applied Leadership. “Leaders can’t plan for the future if they don’t understand what is happening today. They have to be able to see what the organization is doing and how they are doing it in order to help them plan for change.”

Three types of leadership skills

Trying out different facial expressions when listening thoughtfully, making eye contact to enhance authority, or rehearsing the right body language to go with a speech are all things a budding leader might practice in the mirror. But authentic leadership goes deeper and it tends to be expressed in three key dimensions – intrapersonal, interpersonal and developmental.

Honing intrapersonal, interpersonal and developmental skills is important to developing what is known as authentic leadership, Domingo says. “People long for leaders who demonstrate honesty, dependability, compassion and relatability.”

According to Domingo, the intrapersonal dimension of authentic leadership helps answers questions like, “Who am I as a leader, and do I have purpose?” The interpersonal side examines how a person interacts with others and connects with people in general. Some good questions to ask which address the interpersonal side are, “How do people respond to my leadership, and is there a sense of camaraderie and/or respect present?” Developmental questions are simply, “How can I grow through some of my deficiencies or even, can I admit that I need to learn more?”

Drilling down further, City University’s new Master of Science in Management and Leadership, which launched this fall, lets students choose from three focuses: change leadership, human resource management and nonprofit leadership. Each focus area teaches how to effectively make the best decisions, create high-performing teams, develop assured self-management, lead the execution of strategic plans and stand out when the time for a promotion comes.

“Management focuses on the process and leadership focuses on people,” says Domingo. “We wanted to incorporate both management and leadership into the degree as the two are historically seen as complementary to each other.”

Exploring the different facets of leadership to find the right fit for your own aptitudes and goals can lead to powerful impacts and results. Leadership touches all levels of society. Domingo says he sees students in business, government and even the military exploring many valuable topics including change in the school system, inequity in schools and diversity.

Dr. Heather Henderson examined the gender disparities in women superintendents when working on her dissertation in City University of Seattle’s leadership program. Now she’s leveraged the leadership ability she learned and acquired there to become a group leader in the International Leadership Association, the largest association in the world committed to leadership scholarship, development and practice.

Dr. Mary Bethune, another student who completed the same program, took on the topic of generational change in the workplace. With massive numbers of people retiring, how can their knowledge be saved and used in the future? She’s become a change leader in finding ways to preserve that wisdom.

“It is important to know that anyone can be a leader,” Rankin says. “You don’t need a formal title to lead. Martin Luther King and Gandhi are examples of leaders who accomplished great things with no official leadership title. We call this informal leadership and it is something anyone can practice and learn.”

Via Insight : Is leadership the missing variable in the productivity equation?

Quality of leadership is reported to be the single most important factor to impact the level of productivity in an organisation according to a new international research study. The report, The Puzzle of Productivity: What enhances workplace performance? was compiled by the Fourfront Group, The United Workplace (TUW) and WORKTECH Academy. It found that more than half of respondents surveyed (53 percent) named leadership as the most important factor in raising organisational performance. Less than a fifth of respondents named environment, technology or wellness as being the most important factor. Environment came second to leadership, but a long way behind on 18 per cent of the survey. More than half of the organisations surveyed worldwide (54 percent) said that ‘inspiring leadership’ is the best way to motivate staff to improve performance, whereas a ‘well designed workplace’ scored much lower on 19 percent with ‘a focus on wellness’ (14 percent) and ‘seamless tech’ (13 percent) even further down the field.

Aki Stamatis, chairman Fourfront Group and TUW, said, “What’s clear from our research and the interviews is that whilst leadership is conclusively regarded as a dominant factor in raising performance, not enough attention is paid to it by those of us working within workplace. We need to allow leadership to forge a deeper understanding and strong partnership with workplace design because one cannot deliver what organisations need to improve their productivity without the other.”

Jeremy Myerson, director WORKTECH Academy said, “Leadership may be regarded as the most important factor in improving organisational productivity, but it has to be integrated with other major drivers of productivity, such as environment. To achieve that integration requires key decision makers in the market to adopt more holistic and joined-up thinking in workplace strategy. That’s why we’re setting up an annual Forum on Workplace Performance. But first we want to hear reactions to the Puzzle of Productivity. This is the opening shot in a debate that is set to run and run. We invite you to join the conversation.”

Via The Guardian : Leadership styles and relational energy in the workplace

One of the drivers of organisational success is energy generated between employees in the workplace. This energy represents how employees are mentally engaged and motivated in committing their efforts to carrying out allocated duties.

A component of organisational energy is relational energy; which denotes the energy generated and transmitted when employees interact with one another while carrying out their duties. Relational energy is an organisational resource that is useful to employees for managing high work-family conflict and enhancing individual performance.

The nature and intensity of this transferred energy can positively or negatively influence individual performance and other organisational resources. Positively energised employees perform allocated duties quickly and enjoy completing tasks, while negatively energised employees grudgingly and inefficiently carry out tasks.

In a new study, Leadership styles and relational energy: Do all leadership styles generate and transmit equal relational energy?

Lagos Business School faculty, Dr Okechukwu Amah investigated the nature of relational energy generated and transmitted when interactions are between leaders and subordinates within an organisation and the influence of the energy on employee’s productivity.

Relational energy is a resource bank that can be increased or decreased depending on the nature and level of interaction.

This interaction process is contagious because the energy generated is shared and transferred from one person to another within the organisation. Employees tend to gravitate towards interactions that provide positive energy and recoil from those that produce negative energy.

It is therefore not unlikely that different leadership styles will generate different relational energy, which can be energising or de-energising to subordinates. Thus, a better understanding of this concept will provide organisations with empirical justification to select leaders with the right leadership mindset and further train future leaders to develop effective styles that will spur their subordinates to perform maximally.

Leadership styles exhibited by the top hierarchy of an organisation can be broadly categorised into two: promotion-focused and prevention-focused leadership styles.

In promotion-focused leadership style, the motives for leadership are people-directed, with leaders exhibiting values characterised as openness to change, a positive mindset to tackling challenging situations, and willingness to utilise problem-solving techniques to achieve desired output.

On the other hand, leaders with prevention-focused motives usually see people as a means to an end, with most of them displaying values characterised as conservative, negative attitude in challenging situations, and reluctance to drive positive change within the organisation.

Four leadership styles – transformational, transactional, autocratic, and servant – were identified based on leaders’ motives to lead and the values placed on employees in relation to the goals of an organisation.

While transformational and servant leadership styles are driven by the motive to lead and have great interest in developing people, thereby likely to energise employees to work efficiently, transactional and autocratic leadership styles emphasise the needs of people only if it will contribute to the task being carried out and will likely de-energise employees.

However, the energy generated and transmitted by a servant leader is greater than that of a transformational leader because the servant leader accepts employees as they are, empowers and develops them, shows them genuine concern and ultimately places their needs above all else.

The author’s findings show that relational energy is radiated when leaders interact with their subordinates and that different leadership styles are not equally effective in generating and transmitting relational energy.

In other words, the nature and levels of relational energy generated and transmitted by each leadership style are not the same.

Servant leadership style generates and transmits the highest value of relational energy, closely followed by transformational, transactional and autocratic leadership styles, in that order.

One of the practical implications of these findings is that organisations must select leaders that exhibit desired leadership behaviours such as servant leadership style, and avoid transactional and autocratic behaviours.

This is because the relational energy generated and transmitted during leader-subordinate interactions plays an important role in enhancing the efficiency and productivity of employees.

Organisations should tailor their training programmes towards developing leaders with servant and transformational leadership behaviours.

Via The Economic Times : Please don’t be mean: Compassion towards staff can boost workplace productivity

WASHINGTON D.C. – Here is a solid reason to be nice to your subordinates, turns out, showing compassion to your employees might actually lead to better productivity.

According to a latest research compassion to subordinates almost always pays off, especially when combined with the enforcement of clear goals and benchmarks.

Chou-Yu Tsai, one of the researchers said, “Being benevolent is important because it can change the perception your followers have of you. If you feel that your leader or boss actually cares about you, you may feel more serious about the work you do for them.”

To find out how both the presence and lack of benevolence affects the job performance of followers, the team of researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 members of the Taiwanese military and almost 200 adults working full-time in the United States, and looked at the subordinate performance that resulted from three different leadership styles:

Authoritarianism-dominant leadership: Leaders who assert absolute authority and control, focused mostly on completing tasks at all costs with little consideration of the well-being of subordinates.

Benevolence-dominant leadership: Leaders whose primary concern is the personal or familial well-being of subordinates. These leaders want followers to feel supported and have strong social ties.

Classical paternalistic leadership: A leadership style that combines both authoritarianism and benevolence, with a strong focus on both task completion and the well-being of subordinates.

The researchers found that authoritarianism-dominant leadership almost always had negative results on job performance, while benevolence-dominant leadership almost always had a positive impact on job performance. In other words, showing no compassion for your employees doesn’t bode well for their job performance, while showing compassion motivated them to be better workers.

They also found that classical paternalistic leadership, which combines both benevolence and authoritarianism, had just as strong an effect on subordinate performance as benevolent-dominant leadership. Tsai said the reason for this phenomenon may extend all the way back to childhood.

“The parent and child relationship is the first leader-follower relationship that people experience. It can become a bit of a prototype of what we expect out of leadership going forward, and the paternalistic leadership style kind of resembles that of a parent,” Tsai said.

“The findings imply that showing personal and familial support for employees is a critical part of the leader-follower relationship. While the importance of establishing structure and setting expectations is important for leaders, and arguably parents, help, and guidance from the leader in developing social ties and support networks for a follower can be a powerful factor in their job performance,” another researcher said.

Considering the difference in work cultures between U.S. employees and members of the Taiwanese military, researchers were surprised that the results were consistent across both groups.

“The consistency in the results suggest that the effectiveness of paternalistic leadership may be more broad-based than previously thought, and it may be all about how people respond to leaders and not about where they live or the type of work they do,” said Yammarino, another researcher.

Tsai said his main takeaway for managers is to put just as much or even more of an emphasis on the well-being of your employees as you do on hitting targets and goals.

“Subordinates and employees are not tools or machines that you can just use. They are human beings and deserve to be treated with respect,” said Tsai.

“Make sure you are focusing on their well-being and helping them find the support they need, while also being clear about what your expectations and priorities are. This is a work-based version of ‘tough love’ often seen in parent-child relationships.” Tsai added.

Via The Chronicle : ‘Leaders are born’: the biggest business myth

GENETICS may be responsible for blue eyes and a chiselled jaw, but when it comes to leadership, this is where the work of your DNA stops.

Contrary to popular belief, experts repudiate the common perception that leaders are born and not made, is one of the biggest myths in business.

Recent studies narrow the percentage of leadership linked to genetics to a mere 30 per cent, accounting for attributes like height, sound of voice and physical appearance, which may aid in the influence over others.

That means an overwhelming 70 per cent of a leader’s ability is a result of lessons learned through real life experiences.

What makes a good leader?

Senior lecturer in management at Griffith Business School Rod Gapp, says there is no doubt people can develop their ability to become good leaders, although what we understand to be a good leader has changed dramatically in recent times.

“Leaders are now becoming helpers,” Gapp says. “Traditionally, leaders were very much tellers and instructors.”

According to Gapp, the best leaders are participative and see their role as assisting the people they are leading to achieve their goals.

“There are two things that stand out in the best leaders – they’re good at both structure and consideration. They actually listen to people, hear, understand and create empathy, then give back in a logical structured way how to help that person achieve their task in the most effective way. It’s a jointly owned process,” he says.

The opposite of a good leader is a narcissistic leader – something Gapp says is a danger in the workplace.

“Narcissistic leadership is all about making that person shine and there’s very little consideration back down to the people underneath them,” Gapp says.

But the managers who understand the key to success is having quality leaders at the helm of their company, and place emphasis on the professional development of their managers, are the ones who succeed.

The ‘accidental manager’

For those who find themselves in the awkward position of being an ‘accidental manager’, becoming a great leader can be fraught with difficulty.

These are often people who are highly skilled, hard-working and loyal team members rewarded with managerial roles, albeit without any support, training or guidance.

Thrown in the deep end, they often struggle to cope with the dramatic shift in their role from delivery to direction, placing everyone involved at risk.

But with the right support, resources and networks, these professionals can learn how to transition into leadership roles and go on to achieve great success without the risk of falling into the narcissistic category.

The Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations 2014 identified that leaders develop from novices to intermediates to experts, changing their mindset, identity focus, relationships and skills along the way.

By the expert stage, the accidental manager has honed their craft and while they’ll continue to learn and develop throughout their whole career, they’re confident in the role as a leader.

The ‘intentional leader’

It’s not a crime to fall into management ‘accidentally’ – in fact most accomplished and successful leaders start there.

However, in the highly competitive management industry, employers look for ‘intentional leaders’, those committed to the lifelong learning and development journey.

The increasing demand for intentional leaders has seen the introduction of the Chartered Manager accreditation that offers the key to further leadership careers and give managers a competitive edge by proving them as intentional leaders.

The Chartered Manager designation is the highest status you can achieve as a leader and acts as a globally-recognised accreditation to formally recognise leadership experience.

The Institute of Managers and Leaders Chief Executive David Pich says Chartered Managers are required to demonstrate the positive impact they’ve had on their workplace over the past 18 months and how they’ve used the key skills of managing change and leading people to achieve it.

“Chartered Managers stand out as intentional leaders,” Pich says.

“By becoming Chartered, they prove their commitment to management and leadership as a profession.

“Recognition is important at every point in your career. For emerging management professionals, Chartered Manager sets them up to succeed in their current role by establishing a need for continuing professional development and ethical leadership.

“As an experienced and accomplished leader, Chartered Managers add value to their organisations as effective intentional leaders, and are differentiated in the competitive leadership market.”

He says not only is a Chartered Manager accreditation beneficial for the leader themselves, but the entire organisation.

“Organisations with Chartered Managers perform better as these intentional leaders understand leadership is about others,” Pich says.

“The leadership skills they are committed to developing allows them to manage stress, lead ethically, use emotional intelligence and use their abilities to support their team.”