Kenneth Blanchard wrote a very small book called "Leadership and the One Minute Manager". Have you ever read it?
If you are a student of business (Undergrad or graduate level) or if you are a manager of one to several thousands personnel, then you MUST read it. If you are a manger with years of experience and you are reading this blog then I bet you need to read "Leadership and the One Minute Manager" more than anybody else out there. Actually start reading it today before destroying your team and loosing your key people and your face again ;)
Here is the Amazon link to the book: http://www.amazon.com/Leadership-One-Minute-Manager-Effectiveness/dp/0688039693
And here is the Link to Kenneth Blanchard website, you may find lots of other good stuff there.
And here is the link to another useful article: http://www.unvamagazine.com/keys-to-success/four-common-mistakes-of-managers/
Now here is a very short summery of what he and his co-authors talk about:
They talk about Situational Leadership, Your leadership style should be different with different people and respecting to their competence and commitment on certain task. In simple and more philosophical word: Different Strokes for Different Folks. (Competence is a function of knowledge and skills, Commitment is a combination of confidence and motivation)
You need to stop your "seagull Management" - You need to stop flying in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, and then fly out and think you have done your management duty!
Read the book and learn when and where and How to Direct, Coach, Support and Delegate.
If you direct or coach one of your high performers, he/she will leave you or will loose his/her motivation and in return his/her performance will go down and You are out of business.
Great leaders and managers know these by heart. They delegate technical tasks to their great engineer but coach her on budgeting! And if she is good with budgeting too, then they leave her alone to do what she dose the best!
Leadership Style is how you behave when you are trying to INFLUENCE THE PERFORMANCE OF SOME ONE ELSE. If your purpose is to improve the performance of your people and not reducing their performance then tailor your leadership style!
As "Leadership and the One Minute Manager" says: Everyone has a peak performance potential, you just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there.
Directing is for people who lack competence but are enthusiastic and committed. They need direction and supervision to get them started.
Coaching is for people who have some competence but lack commitment . They need direction and supervision because they're still relatively inexperienced. They also need support and praise to build their self-steam, and involvement is decision-making to restore their commitment.
Supporting is for people who have competence but lack confidence or motivation. They do not need much direction because of their skills, but support is necessary to bolster their confidence and motivation.
Delegating is for people who have both competence and commitment. They are able and wiling to work on a project by themselves with little supervision or support.
I do not want to summarize the whole book here, So I write the last paragraph and then you go and buy it and read it 100 times and practice it 1,000,000 times;
... Just remember that leaders need to do what the people they supervise can not do for themselves at the present moment...
Thank you to Kenneth Blanchard and his coauthors for their intelligent writings.