In Bill's case, while he was very enthusiastic, he seems to be relying on his work ethic to help him through the role of manager. While work ethic is definitely helpful, a successful manager needs more than just to be able to work hard, he needs to be able to work "smarter"; namely, he needs to understand that without involving others in his management and effective intrapersonal skills, he will not be effective regardless of how hard he works. Furthermore, Bill needs to avail himself of a basic educational foundation in how to be a leader. We now know that leadership skills can be enhanced and developed; they are not necessarily innate to all. Moreover, he needs to develop a new relationship with his crew and effectively listen as well as communicate with them. Thus far, either fear or intimidation or lack of respect or lack of self-assuredness or total and complete frustration seems to have interfered with effective communication. Until he builds a rapport and a managerial relationship with his crew, he will continue to work harder, not smarter and he will continue to lose the respect of his employees.
3. With a little foresight and education regarding his choices of sources of power, Bill can map out how to strategically approach his goal to become more than a boss, but an effective leader.
According to Rowe's studies in leadership development, she asserts that even though one might occupy a position as a manager, supervisor, leader, and that position might give you the authority to accomplish certain tasks and objectives in the organization (aka, "assigned leadership"), this assigned power does not magically transform you make you a leader. Rather, it simply makes you that person's boss (Rowe, 2007). Ross makes the critical distinction that leadership differs from being the boss in that leadership makes the followers want to achieve high goals (aka, "emergent leadership"), rather than simply bossing people around (Rowe, 2007). To this point, Bill has really just relied upon his past as an employee and his new position or assigned leadership to propel him into a position where the employees actually acted upon his suggestions. To date, he has not developed the skills or the credibility necessary to turn assigned leadership into emergent leadership.
In order to develop into a leader, Bill should look into models of leadership such as the Managerial Leadership Grid which was developed by Blake and Mouton in 1985, wherein there are two axis: (1) "concern for people" axis along the vertical axis; and, (2) "concern for task or results" axis along the horizontal axis of the grid. In this managerial framework, Blake and Mouton found that most people fall somewhere between the middle of the two axes in a place called middle of the road. Sometimes, however, people score on the far end of the scales. There are four types of leaders that emerge: (1) authoritarian leader who is strong on tasks, weak on people skills, (2) country club leader who is strong on people skills, weak on tasks, (3) impoverished leader who is weak on tasks and strong on people skills, and (4) a team leader who is strong on tasks and strong on people skills. The goal of effective leadership is to lie at least in the middle of the road range or, optimally, in the team leader area of the grid (Blake & Mouton, 1985).
In examining Bill's situation, he is definitely strong on the tasks portion of this job as he has performed them for years; however he is weak in his people skills as noted in his outbursts and failure to build interpersonal skills and obtain real feedback from his employees. Thus, Bill lies in the authoritarian portion of the grid and, in order to move to the team range, he needs to obtain guidance, education, and/or mentorship in team-building and, moreover, effectively communication skills in the workplace. As it stands, he has not begun a real dialogue or feedback or connectivity actions between his employees on the level as manager. By doing this, he will also move from a place of merely having "assigned leadership" to the level of "emergent leadership" wherein his employees are motivated to complete tasks based upon his direction.
Furthermore, according to the "total leadership" model, the basis of effective leadership consists of possessing and demonstrating honorable character and selfless service to your organization. Thus, according to this model, "In your employees' eyes, your leadership is everything you do that effects the organization's objectives and their well-being" (U.S. Army, 1983). Respected leaders therefore concentrate on three critical things: (1) what they are [be] (such as beliefs and character); (2) what they know (such as job, tasks, and human nature); and, (3) what they do (such as implementing, motivating, and giving direction). In short, this model may be summarized as the "Be, Know, Do" model of leadership (U.S. Army, 1983).
In Bill's case, he has a great work ethic and a sense of self; he seems to have the first element taken care of. Additionally, he has extensive knowledge of the task in which his employees need to accomplish. The part of his job that he does not "know" is that part that entails how to actually lead. There is hope for Bill as we know that leadership skills may be developed; they are not necessarily innate. The third factor which consists of motivating and giving direction is the factor that Bill needs to develop through understanding his new role and how to become more than just an assigned leader but an emergent and a team leader as well.
4. There is a lot of hope for Bill to become an effective leader. First, he needs to avail himself of educational and mentor opportunities to give him the rubric from which to follow (U.S.. Military, 1983; Tanner, 2010). Second, he needs to make sure that he has the ability to effectively manage. If he feels he needs to be able to instill repercussions and rewards, then he needs to renegotiate his role or, at a minimum, clarify his role with upper management so as to put himself in a position where he can truly succeed. While Bill needs to set his employees up for success, Bill's superiors need to ensure the same for him (Morris & Upchurch, 2008). Third, Bill must work on his motivational techniques. As noted by Robert H. Thompson, author of the Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable, an effective leader must foster open, honest, and authentic relationships that urge others to want to discover their power and focus on what matters to them (Thompson & Kouzes, 2008). To help Bill do this, he needs to understand the importance of team building and communicating with his employees and truly building a team from the basis upward. One way to do this is to set a shared vision and work with the employees to help them to envision their future as productive employees and create a roadmap for getting there together. Additionally, he needs to find a way to translate his passion and his vision in such a way as to actually inspire his employees to join and commit to the effort (Beaulieu, 2009). Indeed, Bill appears to be a hard worker. If he just works smarter by implementing the foregoing he will begin to build a team which wants to perform for him as well as wants to perform for themselves. In fact, I believe that Warren Bennis, an expert in organizational leadership would agree, as he believes that one truly learns from the experience and from self-reflection (Bennis, 1995). Thus, it definitely not too late for Bill to become an effective leader as long as he is willing to put forth the effort needed to reflect and learn how to develop the skills and behaviors required to effectively lead his crew toward a shared vision.
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Bennis, W. (1995). Conversation with Warren Bennis [Interview]. Retrieved from http://www.behavior.net/column/bennis/
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