Defining Leadership


Learning Activity #1 – Theme 1

This week, we look at leadership from the manager’s perspective and explore the differences looking at leadership from a leader’s perspective.  Managers focus on process, procedure, and implementation of the organization’s purpose.  A manager’s perspective is about getting the job done and keeping stability.

In a recent virtual management meeting the Heads of the various marketing departments of Biotech met to discuss the recent decline in sales of food supplements since Nestle and General Mills entered the market.  In a meeting to get direction on how to fix the drop in sales, the question came up about who should handle the matter – the marketing managers or the owners.  One manager said, “A problem like this should have a solution from the top.”  Another manager responded, “I do not agree. We have dips in sales all the time and we go out and fix them using our own ideas and talent.”  “I agree, managers are leaders too” another voice said.  Maximillian Barney sat back in the Yonkers conference room away from the camera noting that the Americans wanted to move on their own, the Europeans held back but signaled agreement with the Americans.  The rest were quiet.   Maximillian pondered, “How do I see my managers – are they leaders too?”

Looking back at week one theorists and our readings this week, how should Maximillian answer this question?

Learning Activity #2 – Theme 2

The manager must be able to solve problems, communicate, and lead teams toward the completion of a task.

You are the manager of the HR department in New Mexico.  Headquarters has just sent you the new employee turnover figures for the various departments. For some reason the Quality Control Department is losing way more than the average number of lab techs.  Training new employees is costly to the company and the high turnover is costing money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Research uncovered the problem. Skilled lab techs were leaving to go to a company not far away that was paying more.  One employee, who has been with the company for five years, said she stayed with Biotech despite being approached by the company down the street because, “Although the new company paid more, Biotech offered better health care benefits.”  She had a sick son.  She indicates that she wished she could receive more flexible hours or work from home.

Using employee’s feedback or facts from the case scenario, and the weekly readings, what ideas should you consider offering to the Quality Control Manager to keep people from leaving and why?  Be sure to include in the explanation what motivates people and how your ideas are reflective of motivational theory.

Week 6: The Leading Function

Without the ability to influence employees toward goal achievement, a manager cannot be effective. No matter how well-crafted the objectives or how well-organized the resources, nothing can be achieved if employees are unwilling or unable to work toward the objectives.  Managers who lack the ability to influence employees are often ineffective and find it difficult to motivate workers to increase productivity.

Theme 1: What is Leading?


Theme 2: The manager must be able to make decisions, solve problems, communicate, motivate employees, and lead teams toward the completion of a task. This is often done as part of the leading function.


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