gia vang hom nay , seo uy tin , bao ve viet nam , cong ty bao ve viet nam , dich vu bao ve viet nam , thoi trang viet nam , thoi trang viet nam , tin tuc moi viet nam , tin moi viet nam , chia se mon ngon , phim viet nam , ung dung game , tin giai tri , tin cong nghe , khach san da lat , anh showbiz , my pham trang da , bao da ipad , op lung iphone , bao ipad , tap chi sao , kem duong da , may tinh bang , samsung , dien thoai sky , iphone , smartphone gia re , phim club , bao cong nghe , ipad , iphone 5s , thoi trang , Game Mobile , game mobile , meo vat , me va be , OpenCart Themes , flash card

Contact us on: 011 609 1264

Subcribe to Newsletter

First Name (*)

Invalid Input
Surname (*)

Invalid Input
Email (*)

Invalid Input
Province (*)

Invalid Input

Invalid Input
Is Leadership the Answer?

by Mark Deavall - May 2013

Over the past few years I have been growing increasingly concerned about the amount of leadership training going on in South Africa, and the seemingly corresponding decrease in effective management. We see strike actions taking place that are so poorly handled by the "leadership", that the results thereof are shocking and resound around the world. We see our economy declining, and we have lost our status as the "blue eyed boy" of the world. We see corruption in such a flood that it is now almost impossible to stem the flow. We see the total breakdown of law and order. We see businesses compromising on productivity and quality standards - I could go on but I think you get the picture: leadership in South Africa, whether in the private or public sector, is failing dismally.

We have been taught over the years that the foundation to any successful venture or country is that of strong leadership. However, as I have travelled around both locally and internationally, and asked for a definition of strong leadership, I have received varying definitions - from "someone that gets the job done", through "someone that is loved and respected", to "someone that makes things happen no matter what the cost". Particularly in South Africa, leadership seems to be seen in two ways - 1) if you are part of leadership, you are the enemy, and 2) leaders are people that give orders, are overpaid and do no work. As a result, the aspiration of people to leadership roles is more often than not motivated by a financial reason.

When I attended my very first management course (which was structured over two months with one day a month being facilitated. The rest of the time was for "on the job practice" and preparation of assignments), our facilitator gave us some homework to do. As new managers, we of course responded with varying degrees of enthusiasm, from grudging acceptance to open hostility. However the assignment had to be done. This was the assignment - "go back to work and fire someone then come back in a month's time and tell me about it". This of course was long before the labour legislation that we have in place now, but most of us were horrified! Some were happy as they already had their eye on someone, but most were horrified.

When we came back after a month, obviously very few people had actually fired someone, but our facilitator released the pressure and fear with these words. Forgive me for the language but I am quoting him verbatim - "If you don't have balls to fire someone, you don't have the balls to be a manager! Because management is about courage. It takes immense courage to be an effective manager".

And all these years later I still believe him to be right. Management is about courage! But somewhere along the line we seem to have forgotten this essential management ingredient, and instead replaced it with technical competence and the ability to get along with people. I am not for one moment suggesting that these are not important, but it's sort of like being in Johannesburg and wanting to travel to London. But you want to start your trip in Dubai. Without the foundational leg of your journey from Johannesburg to Dubai, you are not going to get to London. Or building a house but starting with the walls, then the windows and then the roof. That house will fall, because we have forgotten the foundation.

So if the walls represent technical competence, the windows, the ability to get along with people, and the roof, leadership, what is the foundation? The answer is "control and discipline". Without the foundation of control and discipline, your management role will be an incredibly difficult one and ultimately you will fail at it. Without control and discipline, so called "leadership" can never work. Why? Because we are taught that leadership provides sustainable direction, motivation and inspiration. But if you have an undisciplined team, none of those will ever happen.
And this is where the subject of control and discipline comes in. I am not asking you to be a tyrant, but I am asking you to be a good parent. That took you by surprise didn't it? Yes, there is in reality, very little difference between being a good manager and a good parent. Let's take a look at why. Good parents, and please read "GOOD" parents, create and establish clear parameters for their children from an early age, and as the child grows and shows voluntary compliance, the parameters are modified and slowly changed. However, they are never cast aside. They just change according to the relationship you have with your children. As a parent you start in the role of care giver, and move to coach/mentor and finally older friend, but there are always parameters. In fact, every good relationship is based on the establishing of, and compliance with, parameters.

So when those parameters are not set and/or enforced, leadership cannot work. Technical competence cannot work and neither can the ability to get along well with people. For those to work, control and discipline needs to be in place. And this takes courage. Although people respond well to clear parameters being in place, initially they will rebel. They will purposely break the rules to see what you will do, and if you do nothing and there is no tangible and unpleasant consequence, you have lost your credibility and your journey to becoming a good leader has just collapsed.

In business, these parameters are all in connection with productivity. The question that should be asked all the time is, "does this that is happening or that you want, promote productivity or detract from productivity?". If you are not a "productivity focussed" manager, setting clear productivity parameters and then strongly enforcing them, you have not even established the foundation of your management challenge.

People don't change behaviour because you ask them to (yes I know that some might but they are in a small minority), people change behaviour because there is a consequence that affects them on a personal level. And please don't read a consequence as a threat. I have a client whose managers "manage by letter of warning". Those letters of warning are now just ignored because they never progress to a personal consequence. Or when they do, the infringement is now so serious that the disciplinary hearing has a pre-ordained verdict of dismissal.

Parameters are guarded vigilantly and behaviour corrected the minute there even appears to be a potential infringement. Just like closing your garden gate so that your toddler can't wonder out into the street. You don't wait for the child to be in the street and then rush out and scream and him or her while dragging the child back inside. You simply close the garden gate before the child has the opportunity to infringe the parameter.

Which means that while effective management has a foundation of control and discipline being proactive is also an essential ingredient. Don't wait for a problem to manifest. See the indicator before it becomes a problem and address the indicator. Just as when your child starts to climb the garden gate, you will take immediate action to stop that from happening. Once again you won't just stand there and say "oh look how he's growing. He's nearly climbing right over the gate." No, you will take action - proactively!

So let's not confuse management with leadership. Leadership is a component of management, but it is not management. As we have seen, management is made up of a few components, of which leadership is one. But effective management starts with control and discipline.

Being a good manager means that you need to make decisions that sometimes are unpopular, but that always work in the interests of your business. If you aspire to be a manager and cannot exercise discipline and control, then please don't become a manager. You will do more damage than good. And if you already are a manager and struggling to impose discipline and control, then please moved out of management. You are doing you company a dis-service.

This has not been a very motivating or uplifting article, but I believe that the time has come for someone to stand up and describe this management territory in all its reality. Being a manager is not easy, in fact it's darn difficult, but anyone can do it if you start in the right place. Lay your foundations carefully.

I will be facilitating a course entitled "8 Keys for becoming a World Class Manager" in Johannesburg on 25 & 26 June 2013.  Call 011 609-1264 or click here for more information.

I trust that you have found benefit in this article. If you would like to contact me or have me talk to the people in your company, please call me on 27 11 609-1264, or e-mail me

This article is protected by international copyright law. If you would like to copy this article for any reason, please be sure to copy the entire article including this line.


Tel: 011 609 1264
Fax: 011 452 0138
Send us an e-mail
fb Copyright © Merit Business Institute 2009
All rights reserved.
Website Hosting by DiaMatrix
E-mail newsletter & SMS marketing by MyListManager