This report provides the analyses the main content that has been discussed in the book ‘Leadership Skills for Managers’ written by Marlene Caroselli and published in the year 2000. The report is specifically focuses on chapters 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and these chapters are basically based on various characteristics of a leader’s role and personality. These chapters discuss how an ideal leader should behave in order to lead effectively. Few of the behaviors discussed include leader’s management power (managing man power), leader’s communication power (ability to influence people), leader’s empowerment (authority to distribute), leader’s role as a liaison (ability to resolve issues) and leader’s planning power (ability to plan framework of actions). The summary and most interesting aspects of each of the chapters have been discussed below chapter wise
Chapter 5: The Leader as Manager
Leaders do not only lead but they manage as well. In order to lead people, it is important to manage and organize them first. Only then a leader would be able to lead them. There is no doubt, that management is a job that requires constant supervision and detailed commitment to job so that this can be made sure that everything is going as per planned. But to keep things on the right track, high level of performance is consistently demanded from managers (Hurtz, & Donovan, 2000). Those who work at the managerial positions are always in great deal of tension to make things happen effectively and efficiently. As they are also accountable to the upper level management and have to show clear results to them that make them fall in tremendous amount of pressure all the time (Caroselli, 2000).
Today, as the markets are becoming increasingly competitive day by day, race of winning larger market share is so high; managers are the ones who have to deal with all the obstacles that try to refrain companies to meet their mission and objectives (Sawhill, and Williamson, 2001). All the described condition, explains that currently, stress management is one specific program that is highly recommended for the managers as large amount of managers are now becoming victims of various psychological diseases. and it’s an organization’s responsibility to take care of all of their employees in the best possible manner especially when one of the major for increased level of stress among managers are organizations themselves (Barrick, Stewart, & Piotrowski, 2002). .
It’s better for organizations to design their work in such a fashion that the work becomes a sense of enjoyment for the employees. Organizations should go for creative ways of managing work and employees (Bassett, 2004). Change of working conditions, extra benefits to employees in terms of offering them free dinners for family, vacations leave etc will help employees a lot in managing their stress level and they will also become more passionate about their work. In this way, organizations themselves can save great amount of money that they would have to spend on medical expenses of employees otherwise. However in such conditions, Stress management programs are something, which all organizations must fit in their schedules time by time.
Chapter 6: The Leader as Communicator
One of the most essential characteristics of leader is the ability to clearly communicate. Leader is one who shares his vision and values to his followers in such an enthusiastic way that they are not only able to grasp his idea but they also become passionate to support his with his cause. If any leader is not good at communication skills, then he would not be able to leave an impact on the followers (Caroselli, 2000). Eventually, what will happen that people would not take his words seriously and would not listen to his ideas and agendas with concentration thus as a result not only leader will lose support from the people but people would become suspicious regarding the abilities of that particular leader. Moreover, if leader looses support from people, then he is nothing because then he is left with no one to lead.
Language has a great link with leadership skills, a leader must know the language of the natives where he is intending to lead in order to make them understand what he wants to do for them (Caroselli, 2000). Leader must not talk in a language that only he understands and no one else with an intention to leave an impression on people that the person they are listening to his highly intellectual, this is one thing that most leaders try to do however, this is a failed strategy because when people would not understand the claims of leaders how would they agree with his agendas.
Thus, recommended course of action in terms of communication skills of leaders is that leader must use simple and easy languages that even a lay man and a child is able to comprehend, leaders ideas. Apart from that, leader’s voice and language must be clear, avoiding jargons. Leader’s confidence must be reflected during his speech and the way speech is delivered must be in a fashion that people get inspired by his personality and vision.
Chapter 7: The Leader as Power Distributor
This chapter discusses about the effect of power in a leader’s role. Leader always comes with a vision to bring a change, a change that is positive, that could bring beneficial results for his followers (Caroselli, 2000). Thus in this entire situation, power is something that is most essential to be with the leader so that he has authority to do what is claiming for. He must have powers like decision making powers; powers to distribute work and resources more efficiently, power to guide others and so on (Barrick, Mount, & Strauss, 1993).
At each level of empowerment, as the intended results begin to be visible, the powers of leader start to become even stronger than before. This is because people start believing in their leader, as they see that the leader is able to produce results, then the level of commitment from the follower’s side increases which eventually aids the leader again (Kaiser, Hogan, & Craig, 2008).
Chapter 8: The Leader as Liaison
This chapter focuses on the fact that, there are times when managers do face conflicting issues and various problems during their process of management (Caroselli, 2000). But most of them think that their problems are unique and no one would understand them thus they do not share their problems with any one due to which it takes them a lot of time to resolve them. However, most of the management issues are similar in nature, they may appear with different faces but in true essence they are quite alike. These management issues can be resolved if they are communicated well (Caroselli, 2000).
Hesitation from sharing problems usually prolong the duration of unresolved problem. If that manager, who is facing problems, go to an experienced manager and ask for his opinion or suggestion, then he might be able to receive some useful advice that could help him getting out of trouble (Kirkpatick, & Locke, E. 1991). As a good number of problems are those, that has already been occurred in past, with someone else and he would have resolved that problem too. So solutions for every problem do exist, all one has to do is to find means to reach them
Another view is that the problems in management are highly predictable. A manager can realize when the problem can occur so he can take some remedial steps even before the problem arises. Contingency planning is also based on the similar concept that problems can arise and for that case element of flexibility is always there in planning and plans A, B, C are made in advance. In this entire scenario, leaders act as liaison to solve problems as they facilitate communication in resolving issues (Hartel, and Fujimoto, 2010).
Chapter 9: The Leader as Planner
It is obvious that leaders do come with a plan, that is a plan of change, a plan for positivity, a plan to revolutionize things brilliantly. They have a vision that unifies each of his followers and motivates them to support him for a change (Caroselli, 2000). His vision can only be accomplished if he makes plans of how to achieve that vision. No vision is achieved immediately. Vision is always achieved in the long term and requires step by step planning at each level (McClelland, & Boyatzis, 1982). The task to be accomplished is often reduced to objectives that are required to be achieved within a certain time period. Those long term objectives are further divided into short term goals that are also time bounded. There is a whole process of management requiring scientific approach that makes a leader’s vision achievable (Strang, 2007).
Planning also assists leaders to keep an eye on all the happenings to see if they are going as per the planned schedule or not. If they are deviating at any stage, corrective actions can be taken right then and there so that future losses can be eradicated. Few of the planning tools are flow charts, statistical models like bar graphs, tabular graphs and other matrices can help in the decision making process. Decisions and planning that are based on data driven method have shown to more effective because a thoughtful decision is always better than a random one. Decisions based on gut feelings and intuitions might produce results few time but they cannot be trusted as a useful source all the time where as scientific method is more relied upon throughout the world.
Not everyone is luck when it comes to relying on intuition for decision making. There are only few exceptions in the world that have succeeded because of that and the reason for that probably is their luck. Nothing can beat knowledge and an intellect planning and decision making and true leaders are those who take advantage of both with their high level of dependence on scientific and knowledge based approach of planning (Bratton, Sawchuk, Forshaw, Callinan, & Corbett, 2010).
All the above mentioned chapters discuss various traits of leaders which make them a successful. Leadership is a big job to do and a really big concept to understand. Characteristic such as a leader’s ability to manage others is vital because a leader can only lead people when they are organize and well managed. Scattered people have to first make united and then they are lead.
Quality such as leader’s ability to communicate well with people is essential to have for a leader as it opens him a path for acceptance among his followers. The more effective communication skills he has, more number of people start trusting him.
Other traits that a leader must possess are authority and power to distribute, to resolve issues through communication and sharing. The last attribute that is a key to whole leadership concept is planning, that serves as a tool to achieve goals, objectives, mission and vision of a leader. If all of these qualities are practiced firmly and effectively, one can become a great leader.
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