Management Styles


Management Styles


Leadership Tip of the Month by Ron Jasniowski

There are three primary management styles: The "Boss," the "Buddy," and the "Leader."


"Bosses" manage employees with a domineering management style. They tend to focus on the negative and all too often take positive things for granted. This manager is hard to please, causes high employee turnover and fails to reach his/her full productivity potential.


"Buddies" focus on being nice to their employees. They avoid confrontation and dealing with negative issues (such as, under performance and behavioral problems). Buddies often get taken advantage of by poor-performing employees and lose top performers because they are burdened with covering for poor-performing employees who aren't properly corrected. Often this is the source of what employees call favoritism. However it really is a lack of aptitude on the buddy's ability to deal with poor-performing employees.


"Leaders" are nice, but are firm when they need to be. Their ability to motivate and empower employees to excel is the key to their success. People enjoy working for leaders. They have the highest productivity and retention rates of all the management styles.


"Leaders" have the fortitude to act decisively because they have a clear conscience about acting in the best interest of all concerned. Leaders don't treat everyone the same. They think through issues and people's backgrounds to respond appropriately. Experience and training enables them to wisely respond to the unique circumstances they encounter. And, most important, they are proactive and lay the foundation for nurturing employees to bring out the best in them. Leaders do this, in part, by wisely addressing performance and behavioral problems. This develops the untapped potential in employees and increases profits for the long run!


What if you are a "Buddy" or a "Boss?"

First realize they are very common management styles with little sophistication. Being nice or tough, in and of them self, doesn't make one a good manager. Many leadership skills aren't natural and must be developed. But since many managers don't get the resources they need to develop their leadership skills, they default to one of the simpler management styles.


Most managers can become excellent leaders if they are supplied with books and training that help them develop their leadership skills. The best book I can recommend for "Buddies" is The One Minute Manager by Dr. Ken Blanchard. The best book I can recommend for "Bosses" is the classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. sells both.


I fully understand it is hard to break old habits. And sometimes we keep doing things the same old way, because to change would be a tacit admission that we could have done better before. But we can’t fool our employees about our leadership shortcomings … they already know them!


Managers, you have a greater impact on the productivity of your employees and the quality of their life than you realize! I encourage you to be humble and apply character-based leadership skills with your employees. If you don't know where to start, just have a short meeting and say, "In the past I tried to manage the best I could by examples from my previous managers, but that no longer is good enough. I’m learning about character-based leadership and I want things to be better. Feel free to hold me accountable to be a better manager." Then take pleasure in how much things improve under your leadership!


Future issues will provide you with more details on how you can reach the next level of leadership success.


You may want to print this tip on management styles and discuss it at your next leadership team meeting.


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Ron Jasniowski specializes in training managers and supervisors at in-house training workshops and at leadership retreats around the country about character-based leadership skills. Managers learn how to develop the untapped potential in employees and keep them! Learn more from the services page or con.tact us for more information and a quote.


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