As the new organizational leader, you have taken the time to recruit the right people to run your group. You worked hard ensuring they occupy positions where they will excel. You know they need training, but what do you teach them?
New leaders need to learn the basics. Planning, controlling, operating, resourcing and leading are five functional areas all managers need to master. Often leaders are selected for reason other than their ability to manage and lead increasing justification to train them. It does not matter whether the new leaders are related to important people, knowledgeable about their part of the organization, or bring money to the table to obtain their leadership position, all need to understand all five functional areas to help your organization succeed.
Planning is the process of assessing what the future brings, how you want to respond and preparing for it. New leaders need to understand the planning process. During planning, leaders assess to establish where the organization is, what the group wants to accomplish and what lessons can be learned from earlier projects. Leaders establish goals and mile stones so they can set a course and make adjustments as the project progresses. Developing task steps enables supervisors to measure workmanship and progress.
Controlling is the process of both measuring progress and accountability of resources. On any project leaders plan to evaluate progress based on appropriate information or data. The standards are established during the planning process and are used to adjust course if necessary. Accountability controls are imperative to ensure resources remain available to complete the project and remain available if necessary for the rest of the organization. The newspapers are full of stories of people in positions of trust running off with the organization’s because of poorly implemented controls. Quality controls prevent such problems, or identify problems before the group is broke.
Operating is the process of executing a plan. It includes the planning process, and ensures controls are in place and being used. Quality operations ensure success of the project and organization. Good operations aline with the groups mission and guiding principals.
Resourcing involves providing stuff. What stuff? Everything needed for the project to succeed. People, money, food, parts, space are all resources required to ensure successful completion of any project. Leaders ensure the stuff is where is needs to be before or at the time it needs to be there. Potatoes delivered the day after a fund raising dinner fails to help the organization feed those who support it. Likewise if resources are delivered too early storage and other problems become issues.
Leading is the process of influencing others to accomplish the mission of the organization while operating to improve the organization. Many argue that leadership cannot be taught; you either are born a leader or not. Because leadership is a process, anyone can learn that process. Leaders possess character, and acquire knowledge and skill. They understand how to accomplish things and make sure the right things happen.
Training new leaders is important for every organization. Every new leader must know the five functions of management: planning, controlling, operating, resourcing and leading. Learning the basics is easy. Learning the finer points takes a life time. The Chief Executive of every organization is responsible to train junior leaders in each of these functions. There is no point enticing the best and brightest people to lead your group if your training plan involves tossing them in the water to see if they can swim. Develop and implement a leader development program for your new leaders.
Photo credit: ISCTE-IUL by Hugo Alexandre Cruz. CC license from flickr.com