Ilm M3.10 Introduction to Leadership

M Award in First Line Management Unit M3. 10 Introduction to Leadership Candidate number….. PHI12808517 Centre number….. 068860 Candidate…. Andrew Phillips page 1 PHI12808517 ILM Award in first Line Management Unit M3. 10 Centre Number 068860 Introduction I have worked for the past twenty five years as an employee of a small Engineering company, firstly as a machinist before being promoted after two years to workshop foreman.

We provide many large and small companies in the South Wales area with a manufacturing and service facility and we do so to exacting technical, quality and time constraints. My job has evolved over many years to what is now classed as works manager, this entails all things from customer liaison to work quotation and workshop and workforce management. I am rapidly approaching my 50th birthday and have decided to enlighten myself with some Leadership / management training. Leadership Styles

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There are many types of leadership styles, but based on Tannebaum and schmidt models, I will discuss the four major types, all provide a different way of implementing plans and motivating people, there are many different factors involved in making a decision on a leadership style, what I will describe in the following will form part of my decision making as to which leadership style I would undertake in different circumstances. Autocratic leadership being the least popular when it comes to building trust and creating a team bond.

Within an autocratic leadership, a single person has control over the whole team and has complete control over all decisions made with no one from the team allowed to contribute any ideas or make any decisions. Autocratic leadership has benefits in some circumstances where a leader needs to take sole control of a situation with no one causing any distractions from the task in hand to enable the quick and efficient completion of said task.

Persuasive leadership is used to convince the team, through argument, selling techniques, reasoning and other persuasive methods that what the leader wants is actually the best way forward to combat the issues at hand and to enable the completion of the task at hand. Persuasive leaders will use rewards such as early finish or bonus payment to try and motivate team members to do as their leader asks, this is risky as it will cause lack of team work with individual team members becoming competitive and consequently cause rushing and the inevitable mistakes.

Democratic leadership is a very open style with the team asked for ideas and discussions with those ideas then thrown open to the group with everybody given a say on their opinion, the leader then evaluates all the ideas taking into consideration the teams feelings before making a decision based on them, under this leadership style the team feels involved, which in turn boosts performance and self esteem. This leadership style is most useful when the team has sufficient skills and competence to make a contribution but where the leader feels a need to retain control.

Consultative leadership is where the manager engages the team effectively in the decision making and problem solving process, this style endorses the concept of empowerment. Communication is generally downward to the team, but feedback to the leader is encouraged to maintain morale, giving team member’s confidence. This style focuses on using the skills, experiences, and ideas of others. However, the leader or manager using this style still retains the final decision-making power and the responsibility for the project. age 2 PHI12808517 ILM Award in first Line Management Unit M3. 10 Centre Number 068860 Having worked in the same company for the past twenty five years and in a leadership position for twenty three of those I have seen my management style grow with my experience from what would be classed as autocratic in the early years, where due to my lack of experience I thought that this was the only way to manage a team, based on my previous experience as being part of “the team” where previous leaders had taken what I now call “waving a big stick” style of management . This type of autocratic leadership is a common form of leadership that we see in the world today. This leader tells the subordinate what to do, and how to do it. He initiates the action about the things to do and and tells subordinates exactly what is expected of them, specifying standards and deadlines. They exercise firm rule and ensure that subordinates do follow. This kind of leader is usually found in more traditional and long standing companies. Employees in these organizations will find it hard or sometimes even frustrating to work there.

This is because when a leader behaves in such a way, it restricts the potential of individuals in the organization by not valuing their creativity and initiative. As a leader, you must strive not to become like that because this is how you ‘manage’ people. But people don’t want to be managed, they want to be lead. However, for most other cases, I believe that this form of leadership in this day and age is counterproductive. ” (leadership with you 2012). hrough those early years I found that a more relaxed style of management work better for me in that I would get more co-operation from some members of the team if I involved them more in discussions on how to tackle problems and issues, although this wasn’t true of every employee in the team, as what seemed to be the older element of the workforce wanted to be directed in a more autocratic way as this was how they were used to being managed. I feel that “a good leader develops the competence and commitment of their people so they’re self-motivated rather than dependent on others for direction and guidance. he leader’s high, realistic expectation causes high performance of followers; the leader’s low expectations lead to low performance of followers. Hersey, P. (1985). With this in my mind I tried to vary my type of leadership to suit each team member individually or in small groups of like minded employees, as my experience grew I became more aware of which people needed more direction than others and which team members worked well together and needed little or no direction during their task at hand.

This can be explained best by refering to situational leadership models as below. D4 – High competence, high commitment – experienced at the job, and comfortable with their own ability to do it well. May even be more skilled than the leader. D3 – High competence, variable commitment – experienced and capable, but may lack the confidence to go it alone or the motivation to do it well or quickly. D2 – Some competence, low commitment – may have some relevant skills, but wont be able to do the job without help, the task or the situation may be new to them.

D1 – Low competence, high commitment – generally lacking the specific skills for the job in hand, but has the confidence and the motivation to tackle it. (Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. 1977) page 3 PHI12808517 ILM Award in first Line Management Unit M3. 10 Centre Number 068860 figure 1 (Hersey, P. and Blanchard, K. H. 1977) Similar to the leadership styles, the development levels are also situational.

A person could be skilled, confident and motivated for one part of his his job, but could be less competent for another part of the job (see figure 1). I feel now, that having researched and read articles and books on leadership and management that I am better prepared to get the best from my team, but I am also fully aware that this situation is constantly changing as the team changes, with new employees coming in and old employees leaving, therefore I will have diversify that leadership style to suit the ever changing dynamic of my team.

Page 4 PHI12808517 ILM Award in first Line Management Unit M3. 10 Centre Number 068860 During this exercise I have spoken to members of my team and asked for anonymous feed back giving positive and negative comments on my managements style, the following comments are a cross section taken from the results. “He seems to have a really layed back style of leadership, just leaving me get on with my job once he has given me the initial instructions” He never seems to bother me and unless I have a problem just lets me get on with it” “spends any amount of time explaining what he requires me to do and just checks on me now and again to make sure I’m all right” “usually gets a few of us together to give us instructions on what the job requires then lets us work as a team to complete the job” “explains exactly what he wants me to do and tells me to ask if I have any problems and just checks on me now and again”

Although this feed back was anonymous I could tell by their comments which person had given which feed back, as over the years I have learned to give different levels of leadership to different team members. This just confirms the Hersey and Blanchard situational leadership model I laid out earlier in the paper as a true representation of my type of leadership style. Based on this I believe that I need to take more time with my team for them to gain little more confidence in my management style as a leader, as I think some of them may be looking for more direction from me. Page 5

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