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What is a good manager?

1. What is a good manager? What does it need to be a good manager? Why?

2. What is a good leader? What does it need to be a good leader? Why?

3. How can, or even should, a manager motivate the people he or she is responsible for?

4. How would an organisation look like where people don’t have line managers or leaders but manage themselves (perhaps even own the organisation collectively, participate in decisionmaking equally)?

5. What are the advantages of such an organisation you described and analysed in No. 4?

6. What are the main problems or challenges of such an organisation you described in No. 4 - and how can these problems be solved, or at least be managed?

Managers should be good but not all managers are good enough. A good manager refers to the managers who are being able to maintain the level of motivation of the team members and have the backing of them. A manager who is capable enough to carry off the team in their shoulders can be termed as a good manager. In addition, a good manager is the one who manages the positive and negative aspects with equal effectiveness (Quinn et al. 2014). However, there are some particular qualities that should be with the managers in order to be good or positive or effective. These qualities will be discussed in the following sections.

It is important for the mangers to be result or output oriented. This is due to the reason that if the manager can be result oriented, then only he will be able to manage the team accordingly. Moreover, being result oriented will also help the managers to initiate strategies accordingly. The more they will be oriented towards result or objective, the more effectively they can pass it on to the team members and can identify the deviation of the team members (Kohlbacher and Reijers 2013). However, it should also be noted that a god manager will never be over result oriented. This is due to the reason that having more result orientation will prove fatal for the team work as in this case manger would become more individualistic.

It is the prime responsibility of the managers to get the job done by the team member but the good manager will always be more assertive in order to stay intent in their decision. Thus, they should not get carried away with the external influence. If the manager cannot be assertive then it will be difficult for them to get the job done by the team members. Moreover, with the having diversity in the current organizational scenario, team members will have more diverse setoff opinions. It is the assertiveness of the good managers that will help them to influence the team members over their decision and get the job done.

What is a good leader?

Another major quality for the good manager is honesty. This is important due to the reason that teams are driven by the equal contribution of all the members including the managers. Thus, it is important to maintain the honesty in controlling the team without being biased for anyone or accepting unethical practices.

Though the basic approach of the managers and the leaders are same but their orientation is different. This is due to the reason that managers work with their power and authority while leaders work with their influencing skills. A good leader refers to the leader who has the charisma, influence and skills to lead a team or an organization without having the use of any official power or authority (Fransen et al. 2017). However, there are some factors that should be maintained in order to be a good leader. These factors will be discussed in the following sections.

One of the major qualities required to be a good leader is the visionary power. This factor is also one of the major differentiating factors between leaders and managers. A good leader should have favorable visionary power that will help them to effectively forecast the future. This helps them to lead the organization, employees or the team accordingly. The more effective will be the visionary power of the leaders, the more they can lead the team towards success. On the other hand, there are another major attribute that should be with a good leader is caring for the subordinates. As discussed earlier, a leader always work based on his influencing power (Visser et al. 2013). Thus, they tend to be more concentrated towards the subordinates compared to the managers. Leaders are more concentrated for the welfare of their subordinates rather than going only after the outcome. A good leader always believe that if the well being of their subordinates can be maintained, then the outcome will automatically be favorable.

A good leader should also be flexible enough and they should always promote out of the box thinking in place. This is also another major differentiating factor between a leader and a manager. A good leader should be confident enough about their own approach and styles rather than just following the conventional ways. They should promote distinctive approaches and lead their team or organizations accordingly. Thus, the more will be the flexibility of the leaders, the more will be their orientation towards initiating innovative ideas (Deichmann and Stam 2015). Similar to a good manager, a good leader should also be impartial and honest in his approach. This is due to the reason that the foundation of a good leadership is standing on the honesty of the leaders. The more impartial will be the leadership approach, the more will be the positive influence among the subordinates.

How can managers motivate their teams?

One of the major responsibilities for the managers in managing their respective subordinates or teams keeping the subordinates motivated engaged. In this case, leaders are more effective in motivating their employees, but managers are having different tools and mechanisms in motivating their employees within their given power and authority (Block 2016). One of the major options available for the managers is initiating positive and negative motivational mechanism. For instance, managers can reward their employees in case of good performance and punish in case of poor performance (Ramazani and Jergeas 2015). It will help the managers to have the control over the performance of the employees. In addition, it should also be noted that employees will be positively motivated to perform better in order to have reward and on the other hand, they will also have the fear of punishment in case of poor performance (Bredillet, Tywoniak and Dwivedula 2015). Thus, the desired standard of the performance will be maintained.

Another major tool that can be used by the managers in motivating their people is by providing guidance in doing complex jobs. There are types of managers who only act as supervisors in the team and take no responsibility in making the employees work. In that case, the employees will be demoralized due to the fact that they are not having guidance and assistances in doing the job (Lancester, Di Milia and Cameron 2013). Thus, the managers should also participate in the certain job roles and guides the people in doing it. This will help the employees to be more equipped in their workplace along with be more motivated to work for the particular manager.

Though managers are only responsible for the outcome of their respective teams but they should also look after the well being of their subordinates. This is due to the reason that besides being outcome oriented, managers should also take care of the health and personal life of their employees. If the employees are given proper work life balance along with having the opportunity to look after their physical well being, then the employees will be more motivated to work for their managers (Deery and Jago 2015). This is due to the reason that if the managers are responsible for the personal well being of their employees, then on the other hand, employees will also have favorable impression in doing better job and perform better for their managers. This will also help the managers to create positive impression among the employees.

Advantages of organizations without managers or leaders

Organizations without managers or leaders are quite unexpected and perceived as impossible in the real world situation. This is due to the reason that the roles played by the managers and the leaders and inevitable and are one of the major sources of gaining competitive advantages for the organizations. Thus, the organizations without having the conventional posts of managers or any other upper level management will look much different from the traditional hierarchical system. One of the major differences will be the relatively flat organizational structure compared to the ladder and vertical structure of the traditional organizations (Maduenyi et al. 2015). This is due to the reason that with having the upper level management in place, the organizational structure will look like ladder with top down approach. On the other hand, organizations without having managers and leaders will have flat structure without any top down or bottom up approach

This below figure is showing the typical hierarchical organizational structure of the traditional organizations

This below figure is showing the organizational structure of the organizations with having no managers or leaders.

Thus, from by above figures, it can be concluded that apart from only differences in the organizational structure, the communication process in both the organizational style will also be different. This is due to the reason that in the above figure of the hierarchical organizational structure, the flow of the information is top down and one way process. On the other hand, the figure of the manager less organizations show that the flow of the information is two ways process and it is flowing in horizontal manner. Thus, the decision making process in both the organizational styles will also be different (Shepherd and Rudd 2014). This is due to the reason that, the decision making process in the hierarchical organizational structure is coming from the upper level management with the minimal participation of the lower level posts, while on the other hand, the organizations without having no managers and leaders will have decision making process with the involvement of all the internal stakeholders. Thus, the importance of creating consensus is more for the organizations will be more compared to the traditional organizations.

Another major differentiating factor between the two organizational designs will be the ownership structure. The looks of the ownership structure of traditional organizations compared to the organizations without having any managers and leaders. This is due to the reason that in the case of the traditional organizations, the ownership of the organizations mainly held with the upper level managers or the leaders. On the other hand, in the case of the organizations without having any managers and leaders, ownership is mainly held with all the internal stakeholders and this is major reason behind having the flat structure of these organizations.

Challenges of organizations without managers or leaders

For instance, Valve software from the United States is one of the leading examples of successfully implementing the concept of organizations without having any managers and leaders. This organization is boasting of a bunch of programmers and mainly works based on the coordination, cooperation and consensus (www.inc.com 2018). They do not have any hierarchical structure in the organization consisting of leaders and managers. In addition, the stakeholders in this organization are responsible for all types of jobs rather than specialist in single job profile. This is also another major difference between these organizations and the traditional organizations.

There are various advantages that can be gained from the initiation of the concept of organizations without having any managers and leaders. One of the major advantages that can be gained from the initiation of this concept is the consensus in the decision making process (Chiclana et al., 2013). This is due to the reason that in the case of the traditional organizational designs, decisions are majorly being taken by the upper level management. Thus, the decisions taken by the upper level management may not have the same level of acceptance from all the employees. However, in the case of the organizations without having any managers and leaders, all decisions are taken with consulting each other and through consensus. Thus, the probability of non-acceptance is lower.

Another major advantage that can be gained from the initiation of this concept is more probability of generation of innovative ideas. This is due to the fact that with having the more chances of consulting each other and gathering the feedback and opinions, the chance of generating innovative ideas is more compared to the traditional organizations (Russ 2013). Moreover, due to the fact that these organizations do not follow any hierarchical structure, stakeholders feel more comfortable and engaged in expressing their issues and grievances and these issues are being solved in less time. Due to the absence of the managers and upper level management, the issues generated can get solved by themselves in less time. Thus, it can also be concluded that chances of emergences of issues are also lower compared to the traditional organizations.

Communication process will be more effective and efficient in case of the organizations without having any managers and leaders due to the reason that all the stakeholders are involved in the process (Hammersley and Reid 2014). In case of the organizations without having any managers and leaders, all the internal stakeholders are having same level of power and authority. Thus, the communication process is two ways and is more effective in transferring the exact and accurate messages. On the other hand, the majority of the traditional organizations follow one way communication process and less amount of feedback and opinion from the lower level employees are being taken in to consideration.

In case of not having leaders or managers in the organizations, chances of generating diverse ideas are also more. This is due to the reason that in case of the traditional organizations, upper level management comprising of board of directors are responsible for generating new ideas. On the other hand, in the case of organizations without having any managers and leaders, all the internal stakeholders are responsible for contribute in generating new ideas. Thus, the probability of more varied and diverse set of ideas is more in this case. The more diverse will be the generation of the ideas, the more will be the options for the organizations to deal with a certain issues. Thus, these organizations are having the advantages over the traditional concepts in dealing with the different situations and challenges in the current business scenario.

Apart from the advantages that the organizations without having any managers and leaders are gaining, there are number of disadvantages also be being faced by them. One of the major disadvantages is the difficulties in generating consensus in the decision making process. In any business organizations, creating consensus is one of most difficult process. This is due to the reason that in the current business scenario, majority of the organizations are having diverse workforce. Hence, the more will be the diversity among the internal stakeholders, the more varied will be the opinions of them. In some cases, contradiction emerged among the opinions of the stakeholders in the decision making process (Varpio and Regehr 2013). Thus, in that case, having consensus will be difficult. Moreover, organizations without having any managers and leaders are not having any authoritative posts and this will lead to the issues in the decision making process. Having the absence of managers and leaders will amplify the issues as no one is bounded to follow others.

Another challenge that will be faced by these organizations is the lack of visionary approach. This is due to the reason that leaders and managers are responsible to drive their organizations and make them future ready but with the organizations without having any managers and leaders, there is lack of single authority that can drive through visionary ideas (Taylor, Cornelius and Colvin 2014). This is due to the reason that in these organizations, all the internal stakeholders are being given similar level of power and authority. Thus, the visionary ideas of a single member may not get accepted by others or it may get diluted by referring to the ideas of others. It will create complexities in dealing with the organizational issues along with the lack of singular approach of visionary ideas.

Another disadvantage for the organizations without having any managers and leaders is the lack of singular organizational approach. This refers to the fact that organizations without leadership will follow different routes and approaches in their business operation due to the similar authority of all the members. In case of the organizations with having leaders and managers, all the internal stakeholders are bound to follow the rules and regulations and standards set by the upper level management. Thus, these organizations maintain a singular business and organizational approach. On the other hand, organizations without having any managers and leaders are having no authoritative force to manage the deviation of the member. Moreover, all the members are not bound to listen to others. Thus, it will lead to initiation of the different organizational approaches.

For instance, Valve software is known for their unique organizational design but they are facing challenges in competing in the market. This is mainly due to the reason that they are having lack of visionary approach to operate in the market. In addition, they have to create consensus in taking any kind of decisions and this is consuming more time in decision making process. This is also creating trouble for them.

One of the most effective measures that can be initiated in order to overcome the identified challenges is having leader or manager in place. However, it should also be noted that the manager or the leader will be placed without being following the conventional hierarchy level. Thus, the leader or manager will be selected based on their eligibility and influence over others. The organizational structure should remain flat or horizontal. Leader or manager will be the only one above the all the existing members. Thus, the communication will also be effective and favorable without having any middle level managers or intermediaries. This will help in having consensus in the decision making process. According to the theory of teamwork, it is the responsibility of the leader of team manager to gather opinions from the team members and initiate decision (Mencl and Lester 2014). This decision will be followed by all the team members. Thus, the issue of building consensus in the decision making process will get solved.

The selected leader or manager will also help in providing visionary ideas to the organization. In addition, the visionary approach of the leader or manager will be accepted by the team member due to the reason that the leader should be selected based on their influential power on other. Moreover, the authority and power of the leaders and managers in designing organizational approach will also help in preventing the issue of getting challenged. Thus, the organizations can be driven with having singular approach and the decision making process will also be accurate and swift (Bolden 2016). Another effective way to resolve these issues is having the options of comparing the effectiveness of the ideas from all the stakeholders. This process can also be initiated without having the need of managers and leaders. In this step, the members in the organization should first come up with the specific criterions that should be fulfilled. The second step involves comparing the opinions of the members against the criterions. The most effective one can be determined and it should be decided as the final one.

According to the Belbin theory of team working, it is important for the team members to have the knowledge and understanding about approach of others. This is due to the reason that determining the approaches of others will help the members to have the idea about their own strengths and weakness (Batenburg, van Walbeek and in der Maur 2013). Thus, in the case of the organizations without having any managers and leaders, it is suggested that the members should have the knowledge about others and they should identify their own shortcomings. This will enable them to accept the ideas of others that are more superior to theirs. The issues of creating consensus will get resolved along with the less probability of the organizations following different business approaches. Initiation of the Belbin theory will also help in enhancing the connection and understanding among the members. Therefore, the more will be the understanding and connection among the members, the less will be the chance of having issues in the team or in the organization.

Reference

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Block, P., 2016. The empowered manager: Positive political skills at work. John Wiley & Sons.

Bolden, R., 2016. Leadership, management and organisational development. In Gower handbook of leadership and management development (pp. 143-158). Routledge.

Bredillet, C., Tywoniak, S. and Dwivedula, R., 2015. What is a good project manager? An Aristotelian perspective. International Journal of Project Management, 33(2), pp.254-266.

Chiclana, F., GarcíA, J.T., del Moral, M.J. and Herrera-Viedma, E., 2013. A statistical comparative study of different similarity measures of consensus in group decision making. Information Sciences, 221, pp.110-123.

Deery, M. and Jago, L., 2015. Revisiting talent management, work-life balance and retention strategies. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 27(3), pp.453-472.

Deichmann, D. and Stam, D., 2015. Leveraging transformational and transactional leadership to cultivate the generation of organization-focused ideas. The Leadership Quarterly, 26(2), pp.204-219.

Fransen, K., Vanbeselaere, N., De Cuyper, B., Vande Broek, G. and Boen, F., 2017. When is a leader considered as a good leader? Perceived impact on teammates’ confidence and social acceptance as key ingredients. Athletic Insight: Online Journal of Sport Psychology, pp.In-press.

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Shepherd, N.G. and Rudd, J.M., 2014. The influence of context on the strategic decision?making process: A review of the literature. International Journal of Management Reviews, 16(3), pp.340-364.

Varpio, L. and Regehr, G., 2013. What to do about trust? A source of contradiction in interprofessional collaboration. Journal of graduate medical education, 5(4), pp.703-704.

Visser, V.A., van Knippenberg, D., Van Kleef, G.A. and Wisse, B., 2013. How leader displays of happiness and sadness influence follower performance: Emotional contagion and creative versus analytical performance. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(1), pp.172-188.

www.inc.com (2018). How This Company Runs Without Managers. [online] Inc.com. Available at: https://www.inc.com/david-burkus/how-this-company-runs-without-managers.html [Accessed 7 May 2018].

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