Was my boss a good manager or leader?

Wasmy boss a good manager or leader?

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Goodleadershipis themostimportantinputin a teamthat has a missionto accomplish.Thepersonleadingtheothers must havequalitiesthat can influencethempositively to ensureachievementof goals.Prudentleadershipplaysan importantroleboth itthepublicandthecorporate world.Thesuccessof anybusinesscommunityis highlyattributable to thequalitiesthatthe leaderpossesses(Goleman, 2004).

Duringmy internship, I worked for John Hancock Life insurance company underthe leadership of Mr. Matt. The leadership provided by the boss madethe experience one of the most memorable due to the satisfaction Iderived from working with the company. The company is one of the bestperforming and its successful comes through the dedication andpassion for work exhibited by the employees. A deeper inquiry provesthat they derive their efficiency from the company’s leadership.

Whatmakesa goodleader?

Agoodleaderis thefinishedproductof an assortedcollectionof ingredientsdrawnfrom differentwalksof life.Thecompetenceof a leaderremainsunknownuntil whenhe/shegetsto thetask.Unlike otherpositionsin an organizationthat requiresexpertise in onlyone field,leadershiprequiresan allroundpersonwhocan takecareof theindividualsin theorganization.Thevariouselementsthat makea goodleaderinclude

  1. Emotional intelligence

Emotionalintelligenceis an attributethat definesa person.Itrevolvesaround howan individualunderstandshimself his strengthensweaknessesandhis relationshipwith others. By thevirtueof theresponsibilitiesthat comewith theposition,itimperativeforleadersto developthisformof knowledge.Itshould getnotedthatthisformof intelligencedevelopsin individualsthrough guidedthinkingandreflections.In thepast,emotionalintelligencedidnot geta placein thebusinessworldbecauseitwasperceivedto be of negligible importanceto managers.However,with theappreciationof theroleof self-understanding andknowinghowto dealwith otherpeople,ithas becomethemostimportantaspectof themanagement.Largeinstitutionshaveembracedits importance,andtheyare on thefirstlineto hirepsychologiststo assesstheir employeesto makesurethatthetopjobsgoto themostqualifiedin termsof emotionalabilities(Goleman, 2004). Goodleadershaveto possessvarioustraitsto developtheir emotionalintelligence.Theseinclude

  1. Self-awareness

Aneffectivebossmust haveagoodunderstandingof himself before understandingothers. Self-knowledge is theabilityto knowandcomprehendone`s abilitiesandweaknesses.Leaderswith thisattributeare not overly realistic,andtheydonot setverylowtargets.Their units,therefore,workon achievabletargetsby maximizing theresourcesin theorganization.Employeesin anyorganizationtendto followthedirectiontakenby their bosses.Thebehaviorindicatesthatthepersonwhois leadingthegroupmust be fullyacquaintedwith thedirectionlesthe/shemisleadstheothers. Thebossshould be wellversed with theventure’sgoalsandobjectivesbecause thedirectionhetakesdeterminesthebusiness’success(Goleman, 2004).

Aleaderwhoexhibitsself-awareness is not shyof admittinghis /her shortcomings.During performancereports,mostpeoplegiveartificialresultsandtheyonlydwellin their mostsuccessfulareaswithout admittingtheir failurein somedomains.They do this deliberately to please their seniors and to disguisetheir weaknesses. Self-knowledge enablesbossesto shedlighton their weakpointswithout thefearof losingtheir jobs.Theapproachbecomesinstigatedby thefactthatnooneis perfectand,on theotherhand,theygavetheir bestwhenexecutingtheir duties.Itgivesthem a chanceto seekanynecessaryassistancefrom their directors(Goleman, 2004).

Duringmy shortspanHancock Insurance Company, themanager,Mr. Matt, usedto chair themeetingswhenever there wasanyinformationto be passedacross. One of thethingsI notedis his explicitabilityto detailwhatthecompanyachievedandthefuturetargets.However,healwayspointedout theshortcomingsobservedin thecompanyfrom thevariousdepartments.Asa manager,I didnot expecthim to acceptmistakescomingfrom his officepubliclybutheusedto dothatexactly.Whengivingdepartmental reports,unitsupervisorsdidnot alsoshy off from doingthesame.His approachto acceptinghumanfallibilitytrickleddown to theotheremployees.His modeof leadershipreflectedself-knowledge andacceptance.Mr. Matt`s behaviordepictsa leaderwhois awareof his strengthsandshortcomings.Theknowledgeerasesanyhesitance becauseitpromoteshonesty.

Matt’smanagement style is equivalent to the direction taken by Good willcompany leaders as expressed by Erdogan &amp Bauer (2015). Theyemploy people from various backgrounds without any bias. His goal isachieving the objective of the company by hiring the best minds. Itexplains why he accepted me on board despite have a Chinesebackground. His has developed a high level of cultural intelligencein his employees and this creates a peace co-existence in the workplace.

  1. Self-regulation

Anotherattributethat definesa goodleaderis theabilityto controlemotions.Sometimes,leadersfindthemselves in situationsthat requirethem to be as composedas possiblelesttheyreactnegatively. Althoughsomepeopleharborthenaturaltraitof tolerance,itgetsdevelopedthrough practiceandevaluationofone`sdeedin their dailywork.Employeeswould not be comfortablewith a hot-tempered bosswho expresseshis feelingwithout theconsiderationof their effectson them. Forthisreason,a leadershould containhimself/ herself forthepurposeof modestyandsettinga goodexampleforthefollowers(Goleman, 2004).

Self-regulationcreatesan environmentof trustandfairness.By being headed by a composedmanager,theJohn Hancock employeesstriveto followsuit.Noonewantsto getassociatedwith irresponsibleremarksorreactionswhentheir leaderpracticesnone of it.Consequently, they forge a conduciveenvironmentthat encourageshighproductivity.Abusinesssettingcontinuously implementschanges.Thesecomein theformof policies,machinery,andleadershipamong others. Asthetransformationtakesplace,employeeshaveto cope with newchallenges,andthiselicitsdifferentfeelings.However,a venturethat embracesa cultureof controlled reactionsgoesthrough alterationswith ease.In suchcases,thebuckstopswith theleader.Ifhecannot getalong easilywith theongoingchanges,theemployeesalsolosehopeof evercomingto termswith thenewbusinessenvironment.Iftheyobservea calmandoptimisticbehaviorin their bossregardingtheintroductionof newmethodsof operation,theygainconfidencethattheycan alsothrough.Therefore,self-regulation is a crucialattributethat definesa competentleader(Goleman, 2004).

Inthe company, employeeserredmanytimesandmostembarrassingly in thepresenceof directors.Ittooktheemotionalcompetenceof the manager to overlookthemistakein such a circumstanceanddealwith itlater.Theabilityto containone`s feelingsis a learnedattributethrough experienceandlearninghowto cope with differentemployeesbehaviors.

  1. Empathy

Goodbossesare empathetic. Itinvolvesbeingin touchwith thefeelingsof theemployees,their skills,andabilities.Itis havingsensitivityto their needsin thecourseof their duties.Forexample,takingcareof theworkerswelfarethat getsextendedbeyond theworkstations stimulatesthem to shareexperienceswith themanagementandtheir fellow employees.Aleadershould getconcernedwith theconditionshis followersare goingthrough thatcan affecttheir performance.Due to globalization, changein technology andtheconstantneedof retainingtalents,empathetic leadersare in greatdemand.(Goleman, 2004).

WhenI metMatt forthefirsttime,heinquireda lotfrom me about my skillsin computerapplications.Heseemedconcerned as to whetherI would be ableto handlethekindof workI explainedto him. During thefirstfewdays,I gotassignedto thememberof staffto observeandlearnhowthingsgotran. Surprisingly, someof thehands-on tasksweremoredemandingthan I hadthought.WhenMatt gotbackto me later,I explainedto him theexperienceI wasundergoing.Heassignedsignedme to a staffmemberwhomI could referto whenever I hadproblems.Through theknowledge,I hadfrom theclassandwith thehelpotherexperiencedstaffI updatedtheformulas forcalculatingdailyoptionscostsforan indexeduniversallifehedging strategy.I alsosupportedresearchanddevelopmentteamby modifyingmodelfunctions,calibrating modelsto changingspecifications,requirements,cleaningincoming data,andprovidingdata extractsandsummariesas needed.Mr. Matt’s approachof inductingnewemployeesandinternsreflectedhis concernfortheir comfortduring their stayin theinsurancefirm. Through him, newmemberslearnunder theguidanceof experiencedstaffuntil their autonomymatures.Thecordialrelationshipbetween themanagementandtheemployeesof thisfirm I attributable to theempathetic attitudethemanagerhas towards his workers.

Asurveyconductedin theUnited States of America providedinformationthat employedcitizensare likelyto changetheir jobsten timesin twenty years(Goleman, 2004).

Theexodushappensdespite theeffortsof themanagementto retaintalentedstaffsin organizations.Thecontinuousexodusexplainstheshakyrelationshipbetween workersandtheir bosses.Failureto addresstheneedsandrequirementsof workersmakesthem vulnerableto gethookedby companiesofferingbettertermsof service.Empathyis, therefore,animportantinputin leadershipandwithout it,employeesfeelalienated with themanagement.Theywill havenothingto stopthem from wanderingin searchof opportunitieswith favorableterms(Erdogan &amp Bauer, 2015).

  1. Personality

Anindividual’spersonalityis amajorreferencepointwhenrelatingwith otherpeople.Personalcharacteristicsdeterminehowindividualsreactwhenconfrontedby otherandhowwelltheyadaptto thebehaviorof otherpeople.Aleader’spersonalityneedsstrengtheningbecausetheyare themoodsetters in an organization.Althoughsomepersonalitytraitsare inborn,a continuousexposureandguidedevaluation helpsto makethem moredesirableespeciallyforindividualsleadingthewayforothers. Themajorfactorsthat defineandstrengthenthepersonalityoff an individualinclude

  1. openness

Theprimarypillarof personalityrequiredby a leaderis theabilityto movealong with others. Itinvolvestoleratingthebehaviorsof fellow leadersandtheir followersdespite thedifferencethat might occur.Aleaderin anyorganizationshould be non-prejudicial whenlisteningto issuesraisedby theworkersuntil he/shegetsall thedetails.After that,there is a soundjudgmentthat is not biased towards anygroupof employees.Beingtheheadof John Hancock life insurance Company, Matt getsin touchwith all thecharactersin anorganization.He comesacross differentpersonalities,andhe has to accepttheweaknessesof manypeople.Developingopenness getstiedto thepersonalityof an individualanditextendsto communicationandinter-personal skills.He always relays informationto the employees and he makes them wellversed with theexpectedoutcomesof their activities.Conflictsarisingfrom jobclashingare, therefore,rare.Inter-personal skillsenableleadersto fallin placewhenever theyare in a groupof employees.The workershaveconfidencein him whenever theypresentan issueof interestto their welfare(Erdogan &amp Bauer, 2015).

Duringmy six-month periodat John Hancock lifeInsuranceCompany, I observeddifferentmeansof communicationbeingusedto informtheworkers.Themanagementmostlyusedthememoto relayinformation,anditwasplacedin a strategicplaceforeveryone to see.Whenever amemogotwritten,languageandtoneusedin thewordswasverysober,andI didn’thearanyemployeeraisean issueregardingthememos.Theofficialnatureof thechannelfrom Mr. Matt’s officeresultedin theemployeestakingthemessagewith lotseriousness.I would relatethisto themanager’sknowledgein corporate communicationthat facilitatesofficialinformation.

Wheneveran unofficial communication was necessary, I observed that employeeswould approach him freely and share their ideas. During staffmeeting, everyone was given enough time to make contributionsrelating to the operations of the organization. He received new ideaswith a lot of eagerness and encouraged them to make morecontributions.

  1. Conscientiousness

Myboss was a good time manger and he was mostly the first person toarrive at work and this motivated the others to follow suit. Theschedule prepared in the firm was orderly and rarely did we havecollisions in the line of duty. Mr. Was a constant figure inreminding employees of the set targets and the need to achieve themwithin the stipulated time. He made sure that the employees owned theobjectives of the company and the success of the company isattributable to the efforts of the employees in their daily yearningto hit the set targets. His high levels of conscientiousness made himto stand tall among fellow managers in other companies.

  1. Motivation

Motivationin theperformanceof activitiesdefinesa dedicated leader.There is a pronounceddifferencebetween leaderswhoworkforwhattheygetfrom their occupationandthosewhoexecutetheir dutiesdue to theinternaldrivetheyhave.Thepowerthat drivespeopleto achievegoalsandobjectivesin the companyemanatesfrom varioussources.Mr. Matt has a powerfulgroupof workersbelow him with a highoutput.Passionforthejobdrivesthebossinsteadof thehighpaythathereceives.Besides this, hetakescareof theneedsof theemployeesstartingfrom their basicneedsto givingthem autonomyto dotheir bestin their work.Themanagementremuneratesthe employeesaccordingto theprevailingratesin theindustry.Organizationsthat paytheir workerspoorlyhavea poorlymotivated workforce. Bossesshould on thefirstlineto agitateforbettersalariesandworkingconditions.

Thecompetenceof a leadergetsmeasuredby theperformanceof his/ her unit.Thebestperformingunitsin theworldattributetheir achievementto hardworkanddedication.Theseinputscannot be presentin a companydevoidof motivation.In John Hancock life insurance Company, agradualprocessof instigatingthepersonalspur in employeesledto a situationof passionforcontributingto thesuccessof thebusiness.At its climax,they realized self-actualization and it continues to motivatethem to give their best.Themanagergivesroomto followersto exploretheir strengthsandputtheir expertise to work.Whenever theymakeachievement,themanagementdevisesa wayof rewardingexemplaryperformanceandpubliclyacknowledgestheir contributions(Erdogan &amp Bauer, 2015).

Theheadshould alwayscreatean optimisticenvironmentforhis team.Positiveattitudetowards a performing,a taskis largelythedutyof theleader.Optimisticstatementsandactionsare agreatsourceof motivationsince itsetsthepaceforthegroupto follow(Erdogan &amp Bauer, 2015).

  1. Decision making

Varioussituations call for various approaches to decision making. I wasexposed to a participatory approach in arriving at major conclusionsrelating to the goals and objectives of the company. When setting theshort-term targets, the employees with the facilitation of the bossset achievable goals and they owned them. Working towards them wastherefore easy because they were not imposed on the employees.However, sometimes, Mr. Matt would issue stern directives whenever heobserved any slight laxity in the operations. The high-end decisionsarrived at during board meetings would be communicated immediately tothe employees through briefs and circulars.

  1. Leadership

Mr.Matt is a good example of a charismatic and transformational leader.His openness, conscientiousness, motivation and apt decision makingmakes him stand out as an accomplished boss. By visiting theorganization, a person making a maiden call can tell the type ofperson leading the workers. Their efficiency, punctuality andobjectivity are a reflection of the person over seeing them. Theseveral months I spent at John Hancock insurance company and thetheoretical knowledge I have drives me to arrive to the conclusionthat it is one of the best led companies.

Hispersonalattributesshapeshisbehaviorandhe stands a better chance to understandtheneedsof thesubjects.Inthecurrentjobmarket,organizationsspenda lotof moneyto traintheir workers.Itbeatsalllogicwhentheyleaveforotherwell-paying companies.Itis, therefore,necessaryto maintainthesetalents,anditis onlypossibleiftheleaderhas thequalitiesto influencethem positivelyto stay.Thediscussedpillarsresultin a dynamicindividualcapableof managinga groupof workersto achievethegoalof anyorganization.Since theyget,acquiredleadersshould be exposedto them whentheyare stillyoungsuchthattheywill adjusteasilywhenmoreresponsibilitygetsheapedupon them.

Conclusion

Conclusively,goodleadersare not bornbuttheygetmolded.The major difference between a leader and a manager is that themanager adapts to complexities while a leader moves with thetransition. Itis through a lotof trainingandmentorship that favorablecharacteristicsdevelop in an individual.My boss was a good leader because he not only sets a good example forthe others but he coped with any change with a lot of ease and thismotivated the employees to try their best to follow the same pattern.Life insurance business encounters complications regularly due tochanges in policies and dealing with claims. Mr. Matt is always atthe center of the solution by ensuring that the policies becomestreamlined in the operations of the company to avoid anycontraventions.

References

Erdogan,B. &amp Bauer, T. (2015). Organizational Behavior. Flat worldEducation Inc: Washington.

Goleman,D. (2004). What makes a good leader. Harvard Business Review.Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2004/01/what-makes-a-leader