Lee envies Linda. Lee and Linda are both managers in the same organization. Linda is caring, supportive, and nurturing to her employees. On the counter, Lee treats his employees like children and constantly criticizes them. Linda’s employees admire her while Lee’s employees loathe him. Lee wonders in his heart why he’s viewed a bad manager.
Leader, are you going to meet your organizational goals? Are you looking for a “silver bullet" solution? Your organization won't be successful without good leadership. You can purchase better equipment or introduce a new process. However, your situation won't improve until you have effective leadership. What is leadership? There are a variety of leadership definitions. For this article, leadership is defined as the ability to influence people to support a specific goal. Leadership is not about being the boss or manipulating people for personal gain. Do you know bad leadership when you see it? The following actions describe a very bad leader:
- Taking advantage of employees
- Guiding others in an unethical way
- Talking down to employees
- Failing to communicate to others
- Maintaining an uncaring and unsympathetic attitude
- Taking actions solely for personal gain
Does this description fit your management style? Well, many of these behaviors cause employees to leave. It also creates the right climate for running a company out of business. Definitions abound on management techniques to solve this problem, but it starts with good leadership. Draft, the author of Organization Theory and Design, argues that the right leadership can have a substantial impact on an organization, however.
Bad leaders are often takers in the secular universe. Good leaders provide a sense of heaven on earth. In Calvin Miller's book The Empowered Leader, the servant leader is seen as employee focused. Miller explains, “Servant leaders are task-centered…Because they feel inadequate, they seek to look beyond themselves for answers. "
Servant leadership is not a new idea. Much of this concept is grounded in a religious concept. In the Bible, Jesus Christ explains to his disciples, “. . . the greatest among you should be like the youngest and the one who rules like the one who serves. . . " According to Dr. Bruce Winston, author of Be a Leader for God's Sake, good leaders are accountable to their followers. I have seen great managers during my professional career, but few great leaders. Dynamic leadership is difficult to measure for most organizations. However, organizations can't afford to not have them. Organizations should be concerned. It's their business. Start today!
Daft, R. (1995). Organization Theory and Design. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company.
Miller, C. (1995). The Empowered Leader. United States of America: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
Winston, B. (2002). Be a Leader for God's Sake. Virginia Beach, VA. Regent University.
Daryl D. Green has published over 100 articles in the field of decision-making (personal and organizational), leadership, and organizational behavior. Mr. Green is also the author of two acclaimed books, Awakening the Talents Within and My Cup Runneth Over. He is a columnist, lecturer, professor, and management consultant. Mr. Green has a BS in engineering and a MA in organizational management. Currently, he is a doctoral degree in strategic leadership. For more information, visit his website at http://www.darylgreen.org