Core leadership characteristics
When you consider the importance of “leadership” in today’s demanding business & economic environment it is important to explore the inter-play between these qualities and the leader’s ability to execute work assignments. Any manager in a leadership position with a work unit/team must possess the core characteristics of leadership. Let’s look at 6 Key characteristics;
Knows the Business- has the experience in the Unit’s responsibilities.
Good Communicator – takes the time to make things clear and provides a “vision” for employees to connect with in their work.
Trustworthy – you know what to expect and can count on the leader “walking his/her talk.”
Plans assignments well and thinks thoroughly about the job at hand or the Project being undertaken.
Organized – knows what is going on and keeps a balance among the many priorities.
High Expectations – shows confidence in the team and each individual by expecting their best.
Leadership and Successful Delegation
Now here is where it gets tricky. One of the single most important qualities of a really effective leader in the work place is the ability to apply these 6 characteristics to effectively delegating work and project assignments. What today’s business and corporations value most in their leaders is the ability to get things done through managing others. Getting things done through others requires solid delegation management. You manage a team around executing assignments by giving them work assignments as part of an over-all project plan. You give people work. You ask them to do stuff that will lead to completing the assignment.
The six qualities listed above come directly in to play when becoming a very effective delegation manager.
The really strong leaders challenge their teams and show great respect and high regard for what the team can do. This is exemplified by having consistent high expectations for the team and each individual. Your team develops a reputation for a willingness to take on tough assignments. This is akin to “calculated risk taking.” The leader wants the team to have the challenge of difficult assignments. The plans and project expectations are well crafted and give confidence in the managers “risk-calculation” for executing the project.
The effective leader “plans projects & assignments” very thoroughly. As an employee of this managers team, you know that he or she has given the project very careful thought. The project is well conceived, action steps are clear and integrated with one another, the right people have been assigned to the work. New employees have an experienced veteran assigned for help, time-lines are realistic coordinated. Very often the leader has consulted and reviewed the project plan with the team.
The leader knows the business and this shows up in both the Project Plan and in how each given assignment is delegated. Because the leader has the knowledge and experience, the delegated assignments are well-conceived and the leader can answer questions or brign in the right resources for the employee. This “knowledge” allows the leader to put back-up plans and contingencies in place aroiund the project delegation plan because they can anticipate common obstacles. When the employee has questions or needs guidance on the assignments delegated to them they can count on good direction fromm the leader’s own experience.
The leader’s trustworthiness comes into play in a number of ways in the work delegation process. One of the keys is that employees can count on the fact that the leader will not knowingly delegate and assignment where there is too great a chance of failure. the empoyee does not feel like ther are being set up by unrealistic expectations. Where a delegated task has higher execution risk, the leader is honest about it and will not “hang the employee out to dry” if things don’t fo well. The employee knows they can count on the leader for help and support.
Effective Delegation Communications
When work assignments and action steps are delegated, the leader has established a reputation for communicating the work very effectively. When the employee receives a work assignment, the leader has outlined completely “What” exactly needs to be done. The time-lines and milestone check points for progress have been made clear. The work quality standards and expectations have bee set out and discussed openly. This assures the employee of having a clear expectation of “How” the assignment is expected to be done.
The undertaking and progressive execution of the project/assignment plan are well organized. The leader is right on top of work assignments, time-lines, check points and circles back to team members to check in and see how it’s going. The employee knows that the manager is right on top of things and organized to effect the execution of the project plan. When obstacles occur or unexpected events inter-fear with the execution, the leader has though about contingencies and back-up plans and has the organizational ability to bring those into play to keep the project on track.
The qualities of a really strong leader are most effectively played out when applied to plan projects and assignments, delegate work tasks and action steps and manage the timely execution of the Plan. Leadership qualities are integrated in actual proactive in the most important area of effective work management…DELEGATION.
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