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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Part I Leadership for Motivating People

1 Introduction 
This introduction describes how the course material is structured for individual study, suggests an approach to studying the material and lists definitions of key terms used in the course.

How does this course work? 
The course material is presented in a series of lectures with exercises accompanying most lectures. The student is to study each lecture and complete the exercises at the end of the lecture or included within the body of the lecture. In many cases the exercises are specific to the student’s work so no answers are provided. The benefit is from the student thinking about how to apply the principles and methods discussed in the student’s organization. In other cases the exercises are more general and discussion of the results is included in the lecture materials.

The lectures are short, typically taking no more than 10 to 20 minutes of study per topic. It is expected that the student spend at least an equivalent amount of time on the accompanying exercises. The reason for keeping the lectures short is recognition that the students are fully loaded workers or managers and can spare only a brief time each day for self-study. In addition to the lectures and exercises the student must read supplemental materials. In some cases this is to fill in knowledge that is assumed to be known and other cases it is to expand on the lecture materials. Implementing the methods taught begins early in the course with the student developing and applying a personal action plan.

The personal action plan is developed by the student as the student progresses through the course. The typical sequence is to study a lecture and any necessary additional sources for the lecture, work the exercises for the lecture and then think through how the material should be applied to the student’s organization and management processes. From this analysis actions are defined and then practiced and refined until the actions are part of the student’s normal behavior and organizational changes are complete. Step by step direction is given for developing the personal action plan.

Course Outline and Structure 
There is logic to the organization of the course material and it is helpful for students to know this structure before starting to study to better understand what is covered and plan their study. Students new to management are advised to work through the lectures in sequence. More experienced managers may want to skim introductory material and concentrate on topics that address known problems in their organization.

The three lectures following this introduction discuss some of the basics of selected management strategies and the functions that managers perform in their daily work. Lectures 5-16 address half of the job of effective leaders, motivating the people in their organization. Lectures 17-22 examine the management functions of staffing and communicating. Lectures 23-28 address portions of the control function that are common to all organizations, risk management and process improvement. Lecture 29 provides a proven methodology for planning change in an organization, which is the responsibility of the organization’s leader. The course ends with guidance on completing and implementing the student’s leadership action plan that is developed step by step during the course. Reviews of material covered are included periodically to facilitate learning.

I suggest that you plan your approach to this study before you start and stick to your plan. For example, select a time during the day when you can devote 20 to 40 minutes to the course work. It might be during your lunch break, the period between when you get home from work and you prepare or eat your evening meal, right after you eat or after your kids are in bed. If you make it a practice to set aside this time each day or three days per week then your family or associates are more likely to respect this time as your personal time. I suggest the lunch hour because you can study with several of your associates. This is more fun and makes the exercises more effective because you can discuss them together.

 Do not let learning this material take so much time from your job that your basic work is compromised. It is probably reasonable to spend up to ten percent of your time on this course, e.g. about four hours per week, and ninety percent on your current work objectives. Over time this will enable you to continue to perform your work well and to constantly improve your management skills. Also do not try to learn this material in a quick read through. The material is meant for you to study and to reflect on how it applies to you and to your organization. Sometimes it is best to take a week or more following up on an exercise that reveals a problem in your organization or reading recommended supplemental material.

I do not recommend that managers and their subordinates be on the same study team, at least for the first part of the course, because it can inhibit frank discussions and may lead to unrealizable expectations. For example, your subordinates upon learning that your current behavior should be modified may expect you to instantly change and few of us are capable of instant behavior changes.

After the student has completed the course and is confident that the methods can be put into practice in the organization then is the time to involve subordinates in discussing and learning this material. If you are a manager of other managers then it is necessary that your subordinate managers understand, buy into and commit to implementing the methods taught in order for the organization to benefit. Learning the material and then teaching it to your staff is an effective way to truly understand these methods. There are situations where it is effective for the manager and subordinate managers to learn together. I leave it to the students to analyze their subordinate managers and their organizations’ cultures before making this decision but be careful or workers will think this is just another short-term fad or “quick fix” and not give it the sustained attention it requires.

 There is no quick fix for poor leadership styles. It takes study, continued outside reading and practice to achieve the desired results. It is hard work but the rewards are great in terms of both self satisfaction and the more responsible positions this study enables the student to achieve. When you succeed you will find an unexpected benefit. Your job will be considerably easier. The day to day crises that plague most managers will begin to diminish and you will be able to focus most of your time on high payoff tasks rather than solving daily crises.

Definitions that are used in this course:
• Manager-The person responsible for leadership of a group of people. (team, section, department, or division,)
• Worker-A person belonging to group that reports to a manager (Almost all managers are also workers) • Student-The person reading this material, who can be either a worker or a manager
• Organization-The group of people led by a manager; it can be any number of people and may include many other managers
• Process- The individual and collective procedures by which workers execute their work. Every process has inputs, outputs, customers and suppliers.
• System-The inputs, outputs, process, management, environment, etc., that is everything but the workers. The system includes all of the processes that affect any worker or manager.
• Enterprise-The whole organization where workers and managers are employed.

 If you find that the pace of blog posts isn’t compatible with the pace you would like to maintain in studying this material you can buy the book “The Manager’s Guide for Effective Leadership” at: or hard copy or for nook at: or hard copy or E-book at:

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