As mid-level managers are expected to have a clear understanding on how to develop a team, it is very crucial for the higher management to hone qualities of efficient leadership in them, which will make mid-level managers guide their teams as a great leader.
Nobody is a Born Leader
Many discussions and arguments are often carried out about leaders. But a person is not just born with leadership qualities; it is not that easy. Every now and then, some people are greatly affected by circumstances and they do grow up and develop into a leader at a very early age, but it is a very rare occurrence. There are very few people who are born with natural traits of a leader, but if this talent is not fostered and forged, this talent will diminish eventually. In order to become a leader, a person needs to be forged and sharpened with skill and experience. It is the same in a family as it is with an organization.
Management should start understanding that a ‘pure born leader’ is a myth and when they say it, mid-level managers will also start to believe that leadership performance is determined by confidence, skill-set and self-esteem. Those who wish to achieve goals in their lives and have ability to diminish their weaknesses have immense potential to become a true leader.
And as the saying goes – “Hard work always beats talent”. Similarly, a world-hardened leader with ample worldly experience is always better than a mere talented one, because globally leaders have the potential and ability to grow consistently and go up to next level in hierarchy.
Categories of Power
A leader can generally exhibit these three categories of power −
- Intimidation-Oriented Power
- Gain-Oriented Power
- Sincerity-Oriented Power
Leaders who are interested in gaining complete control over their teams usually employ intimidation-oriented power. Their subordinates always live under the cloud of insecurity that they might lose out an opportunity of growth, if they don’t follow their leader.
One of the most common fear-generating tactics that manipulative managers employ, is subjecting their team-members to a losing sense of belonging within team. Because of this, the consequences of ‘not obeying their leader’ intimidates team members.
Team members are afraid of sharing their opinions with the seniors fearing a catastrophic backlash to their careers.
Leaders who implement gain-oriented power are also interested in gaining control over the team. However, they employ much subtler methods of achieving this. They believe in the “You scratch my back; I scratch yours” philosophy of getting along with their teammates.
It means that if their team members do something considerably important for their managers, then the managers will also consider their hard work and efforts and end up doing something for them in return. In short, it’s the same old “Exchange of favours”, albeit in a professional environment.
Just like a fear generating leader, these type of leaders leverages the information obtained from the team members against one another and exploit specific areas, like the employees’ emotional desire, career growth, elevated status, etc. to make them do things that they might be previously assigned or instructed not to do.
These are the leaders who generate their power through their sincere dealings with people and take decisions keeping merit in mind. Sincere managers are liked and respected by most members of a team as their decisions are based on objective and transparent data as opposed to other types of managers, who have backdoor dealing with people.
These leaders inspire their teammates to be committed towards their job. Because of their open and clear nature of leadership and a clear vision towards goal-completion they get a lot of productivity from their team mates, unlike managers with other styles of power implementation, who manipulate employees and practice biased performance reviews of their subordinates.
Sincerity-oriented leaders are successful in building a long-term bond with people they work with and are faster at gaining trust of their teams. These leaders are focused towards service are trustworthy and earn a great amount of respect from not only the members within team their team, but also from those in other teams.
In this tutorial, we have explained that a good mid-level manager must be a good team leader. Good mid-level managers ask themselves after achieving a goal, whether there is anything more in the shape of a larger goal that they can achieve.
Mid-level managers feel they are one step closer to achieving a goal whenever they surpass a barrier. They perceive any obstacle or hurdle as a challenge in their path of gaining new knowledge, which they then use to eventually reach their goal. Whenever an obstacle comes up, mid-level managers tend to use their creativity, adaptability, and imagination to go find a way out.