A critical element of being an effective leader is understanding or defining those TASKS that must be achieved to ensure that LEADERSHIP will occur. Then the next question to be asked is, "What personal characteristics are necessary to carry out each of those TASKS?
The position taken here is that there are seven such tasks, each of which can be briefly represented by a word or phrase:
- PERSONAL STYLE.
VISION: The task of VISION is to clarify the overall goals of the organization. A group of people without direction is merely a mob-free spirited perhaps, even joyous, but without purpose, still merely a collection of bodies. No matter how talented or motivated the individual members of a group may be, they can not be collectively effective without a central focus. A leader must establish, describe and chart the future course for the group with enough specificity so that each member understands how his or her particular actions and attitudes can contribute to forward progress.
The personal characteristics necessary to establish an organization's VISION include experience, imagination, persuasiveness, farsightedness, and political astuteness.
MANAGEMENT: The tasks of MANAGEMENT are, first to focus resources on the organizations goals and second to monitor and manage the use of these resources. Every organization has resources available, but they are never sufficient for everything that everyone wants to do. Thus, choices have to be made. Because resources devoted to one set of goals can not be used for another set and because resources do not manage themselves, allocation and monitoring systems must be established. Further, because not all subordinates are instinctively planful, thrifty, and responsible, boundaries on individual actions must be established. Budget, timetables, staffing plans, policies, procedures and outcome measures (the bottom line) needs to be developed.
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