The Right Mix
It’s your first day as manager in your new organization and you are a bit nervous. Sure, you have 10 years experience in management, have worked with all types of people before, and have been successful in the past, but this is different, new people, new environment, and a new culture. You know from your studies as a graduate student in Leadership at Albertus that in order to be a truly effective leader you need to evaluate each situation independently and get to know the people you will be managing individually. You remember that simple principle from your class Leadership in Theory and Practice , that there is no one best style of leadership, and that the way to determine the best way to lead is my assessing the situation you are in and the people you are leading.
You know based on the model above (adapted from the work of Ed Hollander, 1978) that true leadership is not just about being a strong leader, but it is about is having the right fit between the leader, the follower, and the situation. The simple model above was developed by Ed Hollander in 1978 and shows us that the locus of leadership is at the intersection of these three entities, and in order to lead most effectively we need to consider the different styles of leadership and determine which style fits best with the situation we are in and the people we are leading.
Let’s go back to our example. Remember, you are a new manager with a history of success taking on a new department in a new organization, so what do you do? Well, the first thing you need to do is take an audit of the situation, who are the people working for you, who are the people you will need to influence in order to carry out your vision? You will also need to assess the situation your department is in. Is this a new group of people or a team which has been working together for many years? If it’s a new team then it’s possible that you may need to provide more direction than if the department is well established with strong norms and experience. You need to determine if members of your team work on multiple projects? If they are in the right jobs? Working at optimal efficiency? Satisfied with the organization? And much more! Additionally you need to determine what the climate is outside of your department both within the organization and outside of it. There are many things which leaders need to do as they take on a new challenge such as leading a new department, these are just a few of them, the thing to remember is that there is no ‘right’ style, but there is a ‘right’ style for the particular situation you are in. So, how do you know which style of leadership to choose? Well, you need to learn the different leadership styles and learn the ways that people under different situations respond to them. Keep reading blogs, pick up a book, or even better (and I have to put it in here), register for an open house on November 7th to learn about the masters degrees in Leadership at Albertus Magnus College and talk with me and other faculty about how you can lead in your organization and develop your career, no matter what position you are currently in.
Have a great few weeks and I will ‘see’ you next month with the next Leadership installment…
Dr. Howard Fero, is an Associate Professor of Business and Leadership and the Director of Graduate Leadership programs at Albertus Magnus College. When not teaching classes and overseeing the Leadership programs at Albertus Dr. Fero uses his expertise to help individuals and organizations achieve optimal performance and effectiveness as The Leadership Doc. Dr. Fero will be blogging about different leadership topics throughout the year and speaks about these topics in his classes in the Master of and Arts in Leadership Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership Programs. He welcomes your comments and looks forward to communicating with you in our exciting new blog.