Role of Leagers – When People Lead and Manage, They Become Leagers!



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  • Given the vast spectrum of information regarding leadership and management and observing the confusion of roles and titles so rive in practice, I decided to develop my own concept of the role fulfilled by people who lead and manage in organizations: They Leage! No manager only conducts management work during the day and no leader only leads. It is truly a combination of the two roles that people are faced with in organizations on a daily basis. I have now started calling my clients leagers. They need to fulfill both roles effectively to ensure results are delivered.

    Roles of managers and leaders

    John P. Kotter in his seminal Harvard Business Review article, What Leaders Really Do (2001) described to roles of managers and leaders as follows:

    Fig 2. Roles of managers and leaders

    Because individuals fulfill both these roles, it was decided to combine the two terms and create a new term called leagers. Combining these two terms allow leagers to seamlessly switch roles.

    Roles of Leagers & Ten Enablers Model

    In the Ten Enablers Model, I address the different leadership and management elements further. The Ten Enablers Model integrates the concepts of Leadership, Management and Change. The model is the product of the collective intelligence of literally thousands of managers and clients who provided feedback and improved the model over the course of more than twenty years. The model contains the essential elements needed to enable change at an individual, team and organizational level. The essential actions of the leager in enabling change are contained in the ten Enablers Model and explained in the graph below.

    Fig 2. Ten Enablers Model

    The Ten Enablers Model is divided into four quadrants each representing four states of mind: BEING, PLANNING, DOING and REVIEWING. Leaders move through these four states of mind throughout the day. Each quadrant contains a number of Enablers.

    • Enabler 1 – Ethos: It is critical as a change process without a stable, ethical foundation could lead to chaos. If the Ethos element is lacking, the change could lead to deterioration with disastrous consequences for the population, with only a few benefiting from the change, while the majority suffers as a result of the change.
    • Enabler 2 – Ego Mastery: It is important that leaders manage their intrapersonal well-being. They have to be centred and balanced and congruent with the purpose of the change. This remains an ongoing, day-to-day process of being self-aware, obtaining feedback and growing. It is only in this state of mind that healthy and productive relationships will be built which will lead to engaged stakeholders and successful change projects.
    • Enablers 3 and 4 – Explore and Eureka: Leaders need to be reminded that they exist in a permeable, ever-changing environment. They must be acutely aware and continuously in touch with the external environment. They consider the PESTLE factors (Politics, Economics, Social, Technology, Legislation and Environment) knowing that these all have a critical impact on the organizational system in which they find themselves. Considering the environment, the leader now consolidates and communicates opportunities for change. Leaders persist until a eureka moment (also referred to as an a-ha moment or moment of insight) is found where the paradigm of the way the organization will impact the environment shifts completely. This mind shift has to be translated into a Vision (Enabler 5) that is crystal clear, described in detail, preferably in measurable terms with an end target date for the change to be implemented.
    • Enabler 5 – Vision: Once the vision has been created the reason for the change needs to be formulated, and the cost of the change needs to be calculated. Without a strong case for the change, engagement with stakeholders will be very challenging.
    • Enabler 6 – Engage: The next step in the process is to Engage all stakeholders, to help them understand the rationale for the change, to share the vision with the stakeholders and to get them to experience the a-ha moment. Their commitment to the change is critical as they need to agree to implement the change. Engaged stakeholders operate ineffective teams where the sum of the team’s output is more than individual efforts.
    • Enabler 7 – Embark: In embark, the focus is now on starting the change process as well as setting and agreeing to the goals needed to bring about the change. Leaders and stakeholders have to understand the current reality, test the change readiness within the organization and start planning the change in great detail.
    • Enabler 8 – Execute: In executing the focus is on executing the goals that will move the organization towards its vision. It requires attention and persistence to ensure ongoing implementation to close the gap between where we are and where we would like to be. In Enabler 8 actions are managed to ensure movement is enabled and maintained.
    • Enabler 9 – Evaluate: In evaluate learners are encouraged to review the change process and to identify ways of improving the change process and thus learning of lessons to ensure future change processes do not repeat the mistakes of past change processes.
    • Enabler 10 – Exit: The focus is on the fact that learners must be competent and confident to step aside when the time is ready to make a place for new blood. Successors are coached to take over during a smooth transition, and leaders move on to new opportunities and allow successors to succeed.

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    Written by

    Sonja Swart

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