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Leadership Styles and Management Teams

by Jackson B

A management team is usually a small group of top management officials that formulate the strategy and operate the day to day operations of an organisation with its sole leader. Usually the management team may meet weekly or monthly depending on the team structure and the organisation. This group functions as the link between the staff, the directors and other stakeholders. They make the key decisions about how to run a business and implement strategies to keep it growing and successful. The management team needs to have certain skills in order to be successful and develop the strategies needed for the organisation.

The leadership style of the management team should match the overall objectives of the organisation. It is usually a collaborative process in which different functions of the team come together to discuss and make decisions to achieve the objectives of the business. The style of leadership would depend on the structure of the business and what kinds of work they wish to achieve. The different functions may be different in the way they operate. For instance, there may be a marketing team that specialises in setting the promotional strategy for the company, while there may be an accounting team that specialises in costing the business. There are also other teams such as finance, operations, technology, human resources, information technology and so on.

The size of the management team depends on the size of the company structure and the number of executives who will have authority to make decisions for the company. Usually the larger the company structure, the larger the management team needed. The size of the executive team should correspond to the head count of the director(s) and the number of general managers (most positions held by one person). How the company is structured will determine how many of these positions there will be and how many should be held by management. Therefore if the business is run through an owner-operated model, there will most likely be less management than in a traditional corporation where there are general managers and there are more positions than ever held by one person.

Generally the size of the management team and their function will dictate the size of the executive management teams required to properly manage the companies. There are different management team styles however. Managers will usually be part of one large group, often called a “team” whereas there are management teams composed of different people (sometimes called a “group”). In the later case, the managers will have various managers for each department (such as manufacturing and human resources, for example), and there are also “level heads” at the higher levels of the company (for example, CFO orVP of Sales & Marketing). These managers are generally considered to be in charge of one department at a time.

Usually there is some kind of role breakdown within the management team, with a manager leading from the top down. This is where a manager can sometimes act as a leader and be the official head of the management team. They are usually called the “leader” since this is how they are perceived. This leader is supposed to guide the managers, but not necessarily do all the leading. It is the responsibility of the leadership to set the direction and ensure that this is done.

The role of the “managers” or “direct reports” varies according to the situation. For instance, the top manager might be a top employee (the boss) who receives no pay in the direct report role, but the direct reports are employees (collections staff, department heads, etc.) who receive high compensation in the management team role? Also, there might be a top manager, who is the direct report of the owner or CEO, who receives a very large salary in the management role and is responsible for implementing companywide initiatives, budgeting, etc.

There are a number of leadership styles that can be employed in different situations. Some of these leadership styles, such as a manager having the lead role, is referred to as autocratic leadership. This is one of the most recognized leadership styles. The autocratic leader is able to use their position of leadership to make decisions that benefit their team and themselves, rather than listening to what the direct reports (collections staff, department heads, etc.) have to say about such issues.

Most management teams are led by members who possess differing management styles. This is perhaps one of the reasons that many companies find it necessary to have leadership training for their management teams. The right leadership style will vary depending on the situation, but the leader should always try to make the whole management team feel that their opinion is important. After all, everyone on a management team should be pulling together toward a common goal!


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