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充分运用非正式领导角色
2003-10-07 打印本页
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企业规章制度的存在决定了在企业当中存在着正式的领导角色。但是,有很多管理人员没能意识到,在企业当中其实还存在着另外一种补充性质的领导模式,那就是非正式的领导。

那么,企业的正式领导和非正式领导之间存在着怎样的区别呢?它们之间的区别在于,正式领导来源于构成企业法律结构的工作分类、财政责任和权力划分,而非正式领导则来源于社会团体当中成员的组织方式。非正式领导在较大程度上要取决于正式领导,但是它又融合了个人影响力及社交技能等多种因素。

有些时候,IT领导人把关注的重点过多的放在了企业的正式领导上,而忽视了非正式的领导角色。这就意味着尽管他们拥有做自己想要做的事情的权力,但是却缺乏在非正式的层面上更有效的进行管理所需要的影响力和受尊重的程度。这样一来,他们就成了压力的代名词,在改变员工的正式职责的同时却不能改变公司内其他人对他们的期望。

作为一名IT领导人,你需要了解企业内正式的和非正式的关系是如何建立的,以及如何利用自己对这些问题的理解来为企业服务。

领导类型:分派任务vs.社交
曾经在同一位客户合作时,我见到了一个极好的说明正式与非正式的领导方式脱节的例子。管理人员把自己封闭在自己的办公室里,很少同自己小组的成员或是与自己的小组有接触的人进行交流。他所领导的这个小组的成员工作都很努力,但是却没有什么方向和重点。当这位管理人员尝试着给大家的工作确定方向和重点的时候,他的努力换来的只是员工的压力和小组工作的混乱。Sociology 101中说:

人事小组通常有两种类型的领导者:

  • 分派任务的领导者:这些人会对小组内的所有活动作出计划,并且确保整个小组的成员都忙于他所分派的工作任务。他们通常都非常了解小组正在从事的工作内容。

  • 社交型领导者:这些人想要确保的是小组内的每一个成员都能够在这个集体中感觉良好。他们会关注小组内的人际关系,消除潜在的冲突,让小组的一切工作都在正常的轨道上运行。大多数社交型领导者关注的更多的是与他们共事的员工,而不是员工们所做的工作。
    通过对我所见到的那个小组的观察,我发现:

  • 小组内的成员对彼此所在的公司非常关心,他们经常聚在一起聊天,还会利用周末的时间组织一些户外活动。

  • 小组成员负责的是一些简单的同工作有关的项目。
    那位管理人员告诉我说,他的小组里面没有哪个成员具备领导技能。但是,根据我所了解的情况,我可以明确的说他的看法是错的。小组中的一些员工具有很高的社交领导才能,只不过他们没坐在分配并指挥小组工作的位子上罢了。

    我召集小组成员召开了一次正式会议,在会上同他们讨论一周的工作进展情况。在会议召开之前,我花费了整整一天的时间同小组内的每一个成员进行交谈,了解他们现在的工作情况。我们还一起对未来进行了探讨。在会议上,我为小组成员提供了一些简单的工作模版和一个短期(两周)工作规划。有了这个规划,我就可以每天了解小组成员的工作进展情况,及时了解他们是否需要进一步明确工作任务。

    在两周的时间结束之时,小组成员不仅完成了工作规划中的任务,而且工作表现非常的出色。到了月底,他们已经完成了整个季度的工作目标,并且已经开始着手进行时间规划再一年之后的项目了。

    填补领导空间
    是什么导致了如此的变化?为什么小组成员的工作表现忽然间有了如此的突飞猛进?这可以归因于微观管理吗?是我引导着他们走向了全新的状态吗?

    事实并非如此。和大多数人一样,小组成员们只是需要有人同他们进行交流。他们需要了解为什么实现了某项既定的工作目标能够帮助他们实现整个项目的目标,并进而帮助整个公司实现目标。给员工分派工作任务,让他们履行自己的职责这样一种正式的领导方式有的时候可能能够奏效,但是这种做法却不能改变员工的想法和观念。

    一种有力的工具
    了解正式的领导角色与非正式的领导角色之间的区别有助于我们对自己的小组进行管理,可以说它是一个非常有力的工具。与其在出现了问题的时候失望抱怨,管理人员们不如确保填补好两个基本的角色空间。如果这两个空间现在还没有得到填补的话,管理人员们就该亲自采取一些措施,或是责成小组成员去完成这个任务。这一战略的应用还能够帮助管理人员排除自己的领导地位被手下的员工夺走的威胁。让我们都来尝试着了解并运用非正式的领导角色吧。

    Understand and use your informal leadership role
    Given an organizational chart, anyone can determine the formal leadership roles in a company. What many managers fail to realize is that there is another, complementary, leadership model that exists between the lines in an org chart: the informal structure.

    What’s the difference between an organization’s formal and informal structure? The formal structure comes from the job titles, financial responsibilities, and lines of authority that make up the legal structure of the company. The informal structure stems from the way that individuals organize themselves in social groups. The informal structure may be partially dependent on the formal structure, but it also incorporates elements of personal influence, social skills, various forms of leadership, and the trading of favors.

    Sometimes, IT leaders focus so much on the formal structure of the company that they lose out on informal leadership. This means that although they have the power to do what they want, they lack the influence and respect to make changes happen more productively on the informal level. In effect, they become agents of stress, changing people’s formal responsibilities without being able to alter what the rest of the organization expects from them.

    As an IT leader, you need to understand how formal and informal relationships are created and how you can use this knowledge to your team’s advantage.

    Kinds of leadership: Task vs. social
    While working with a client one time, I saw an extreme example of the disconnect between formal and informal leadership. This manager isolated himself in his office, rarely speaking to his team or to the people that his team interacted with. The team worked hard but had little direction or focus. When the manager attempted to provide either, his efforts just created more stress and chaos. To understand what was going on in this group, I leaned on some information I’d learned back in Sociology 101:

    Human groups generally have two kinds of leaders:

  • Task leaders: These people plan out the activities and make sure the group stays busy at its chosen task. They typically know a great deal about whatever the group is involved with.
  • Social leaders: These people make sure that everyone is okay with the group as a social entity. They pay attention to interpersonal relationships, defuse potentially dangerous confrontations, and keep the group on track. Most social leaders enjoy the people they are with more than the task they do.

    Observing the team, I saw the following:

  • The team very much enjoyed one another’s company. They hung out together, chatted a great deal, and had weekly activities outside of work.
  • They were stalled in a variety of simple work-related projects.

    The manager told me that no one on his team had leadership skills. Given this situation, however, I could clearly see he was wrong. Someone on the team provided significant social leadership, but he was not in a position to assign and direct tasks.

    I called a formal meeting with the team members to discuss their progress of the week. Before the meeting, I spent an entire day talking with each member about his or her current tasks. We also discussed what that person saw for the future. At the meeting, I provided them with some simple task templates and a short-term (two-week) task-oriented vision. While we worked on that vision, I checked in with each team member every day to find out if anyone needed any further clarification about the work he or she needed to do.

    By the end of the two-week period, the team not only accomplished the new vision but also tackled a huge stack of outstanding work. By the end of the month, they hit their quarterly goals and were well on the way to putting to bed projects that were over a year behind schedule.

    Filling the leadership void
    So what really happened? Why did the team suddenly kick into overdrive? Was it micromanagement? Did I drag them forward into a new era of exploitive employment kicking and screaming?

    Not really. Like most people, the team members just wanted someone to talk to them. They needed to hear, logically, why achieving a given task goal helped them to achieve the overall goals of the project and therefore the company. Giving commands and expecting people to live up to their responsibilities may work formally, but it doesn’t account for how people think.

    The manager’s abdication of his informal leadership roles basically paralyzed his team. Once they had a leader explaining the way, they went to work with zeal.

    A powerful tool
    Understanding this distinction between formal and informal roles gives us a powerful tool to help our teams. Rather than despairing when a team starts to drift, IT managers can ensure that the two basic roles are filled. If they’re not, managers can take steps to either fill the roles themselves or assign team members who can. This strategy also allows us to step back from the threat of one of our employees taking over "our" leadership position, showing us both why it happens and what that person is trying to achieve in a sociological sense.

  • 作者:cnooc
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