These four words that determine the effectiveness of an organization include: confidence, risk, action and results. Productivity, quality, and harmony in a work environment are ultimately determined by the level of understanding and the sincerity of application of these words. When leaders and workers understand and apply these words, conflict is eliminated and productivity is maximized.
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Subtitled: How to Create Extraordinary Productivity By Eliminating Ordinary Conflict, this book introduces a new style of management and leadership identified as Supportive Management.
Written by a retired military officer, this book includes insights gained from leadership experiences in many environments and locations. Clark studied management principles and concepts while managing workplaces in Japan, Vietnam, Turkey, the Philippines and numerous locations in the United States. He also incorporates his enlisted experience to consider conflict from both sides of the work environment: workers and managers.
This book graphically defines the workplace conflict zone and describes how that zone is created and how it impacts productivity. It also introduces and defines a new management and leadership concept titled, Supportive Management. Under this concept, leaders and workers function in concert to support company goals and personal goals. This supportive management concept is guided by four key words.
The ultimate goal of a business organization is survival. Coincidental with that goal an organization serves many purposes, some of which are related to that goal and some aren't. Some related purposes include profit, growth, power, and security for company leaders or owners. Some indirect purposes include economic growth of society, governmental stability and opportunities for individuals to develop personal careers.
Some organizations accomplish their goal of survival while others do not. Survival or failure of a company may be attributed to many different reasons, many of which include the following:
An erroneous business concept
Lack of business skills
Lack of sufficient demand
Lack of interest and enthusiasm
The wrong marketing approach
The wrong business location
Unskilled or unmotivated workers
This list of typical reasons for business failures includes those that may be somewhat identified as a business begins to decline. For example, it's relatively easy to determine if a business is not financed adequately, for funds will be lacking to make current payments; it's relatively easy to know if the wrong marketing approach is being used by comparing results with other similar businesses; and, it's certainly easy to know if the demand for a product or service is inadequate.
More difficult to identify are those failures related to personnel quality, enthusiasm, skills, and effort. These are usually difficult to identify and isolate as a basic problem, for they're usually vaguely intertwined and camouflaged by other more visible problems. Furthermore, personnel problems tend to adjust to defend themselves by blaming other problems.
For example, weak or incompetent leaders may ordinarily blame bad luck, lazy workers, or inadequate support for their lack of effectiveness. Lazy workers may ordinarily blame unfair company policies, unfair work schedules, or bad leadership for their lack of productivity. In either case, it's difficult to understand exactly what the cause really is when inefficiency is caused by people in the workplace. That determination is usually made from the perspective of the person who's responsible for that productivity.
Most problems in a workplace, assuming that the business is established on valid business principles, are caused by people. If a business has the right concept, is in the right location, and has sufficient demand for that product or service, then the basics are there for that company to survive and be profitable. The determining factor of that business success then becomes the effort of the people charged with making that business profitable.
Ordinarily, it's a simple task to find capable and qualified people to perform those functions to make a business survive. Most people in society are normal people with average intelligence. Most jobs in society don't require people to have superior intelligence; therefore, when trained workers are available to perform those jobs.
Leadership positions are more difficult to fill. The concept of leadership is so vague it's often difficult to be confident that a person hired to be a leader will actually be an effective leader. This uncertainty exists even though that leader might have been an outstanding leader in another organization. The effectiveness of a leader is more often evaluated from the leader's results than from the characteristics and traits a leader exhibits. Those results are often determined by influences outside the leader's direct control.
These contributing forces that determine the effectiveness of leadership may be identified as workplace harmony or workplace conflict. The level of workplace conflict in an organization usually determines if leaders are considered competent, if workers are considered skilled, and if that workplace will achieve its highest level of efficient productivity.
Many books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, theses, and other documents have been written to guide leaders in the art of leadership to increase productivity. These writings have focused primarily at two subjects: improving leadership skills and learning to motivate workers.
Two fundamental problems exist with these training targets. First, a scientific leadership model doesn't exist to permit positive leadership training. Secondly, motivation theories are only vague theories, they aren't based on fact. Consequently, that training is based on ideas and concepts, not proven models.
Even if one accepts the idea that leadership and motivation training is valid, one must also change the target of that training. Current targets are: improving leadership skills and improving worker motivation. The single target of leadership training should be simply to eliminate workplace conflict. Of course, further explanation is necessary to grasp this concept. This concept is based on existing leadership and motivation theories.
There is no single leadership style that produces uniform productivity results. In some situations, autocratic leaders may have more productive workplaces than democratic leaders. In other situations democratic leaders might get more positive results. Although leadership styles are categorized basically as autocratic or democratic, most leaders function somewhere between those two extremes. A totally autocratic leader or a totally democratic leader probably doesn't exist. Normally the democratic style is preferred, for it offers workers more freedom from stress and more opportunities to become motivated.
Motivation theories suggest, imply, or openly state that motivation occurs naturally. These motivation theories are based on the premise that people are moved to action to satisfy needs. Based on these theories everyone must be motivated to do something since everyone has some needs.
A synthesis of these ideas of leadership and motivation suggests a conclusion that leaders shouldn't focus merely on leadership skills and motivation in the workplace. Instead, leaders should focus on eliminating conflict in the workplace to allow workers to unleash their internal and withheld self motivation to fill their natural achievement needs, meaningful work, and recognition. This book is designed for this leadership purpose.
This book is designed to accomplish two other fundamental purposes, other than to demonstrate how to eliminate conflict to increase productivity. It's also designed to give a brief but comprehensive leadership course, and to introduce a simple personal success planning guide for leaders and workers.
Personal success planning by workers is introduced to establish the concept that a worker who's focused on personal development will be less vulnerable to distracting negative influences. These distracting negative influences are often the catalysts to conflict that reduces productivity in a workplace.