Supervisors and Leaders exercising leadership attributes through the application of supervisory skills

Managing is part of business life.  It is about making the best of all the resources a supervisor have at his disposal such as manpower, assets, and more.  It is almost inevitable that a supervisor will be involved in managing people.  As supervisor, managing should be done well because it is a very daunting challenge.  To delve deep into this premise, it is necessary to investigate why supervising requires a mix of managerial skills and leadership attributes in order to perform the role.  In order to do so, it is said it is best to first define what leadership and supervising are and how then a supervisor differs with a leader based on leadership principles and styles of leading. 

Some theorists argued that leaders are regarded through the role that he carries or with the title attached to his name.  Most people thought that anyone who is called a president, a police chief or a director and a supervisor may already be called a leader. To them, the label seems to assume a shape of its own in getting people or others to behave or act as required by the institution.   By defining what a leader or a supervisor means, it will help distinguish the one from the other.  As Jerald Greenberg in Managing Behavior in Organization defined it, leadership is the process by which an individual influences others in ways that help attain group or organizational goals.  This definition notes that the processes involved can be carried or employed to influence others without using force or threats (Greenberg, 1999).  From herewith definition, a leader is easily distinguished from a dictator or an autocratic leader.  Whereas a By-the-Book type of leader adopts his style based on regulations, policies and procedures and he bases his authority on these rules to act with certainty and safety, an autocratic leader, however, keeps all decision-making for himself.  An autocratic leader discourages subordinates and in-line personnel from contributing their desires and goals and withhold information in order to keep the employees dependent on him.  Contrary to this, the by-the-book leaders then encourages initiatives from subordinates to foster positive relationships between and among themselves thus encouraging a two-way mutual process the influence of a leader to his subordinates in various ways and vice versa.  In view of these definitions of leadership styles, a supervisor, like a leader, hold the essential aspect required to meet any organizations goals and objectives through implementation of the plans. Moreover, supervisors ensures that the organization cope with the complexity of the operations (Schroeder  Lombardo, 2006). 

Any supervisors role in the law enforcement field entails making sure that in-line personnel or staff are effective in carrying out their duties and functions yet ensuring that employees needs are met through proper motivation and stimulation by the supervisor.

Leadership attributes and supervisory skills

In the law enforcement field, risks and confusions are normal occurrence expected by managers or supervisors.  Subordinates normally look up at their supervisors whom they expect are the ones who are capable of  1) identifying their needs to deal with change and 2) motivating and inspiring change and action to successfully implement strategies.  But great supervisors must first know the people they are supervising by understanding their subordinates strengths and weaknesses.  In order to do so, the supervisor must first embark on discovering these qualities within themselves before actual assistance may be rendered.  Training or any assistance may be provided the subordinate only when the supervisor have identified the key strengths and weaknesses of the people being handled.

    It is also said the when supervisors take the initiative to understand and learn their own strength and weaknesses, they can then improve on the aspects that need further progress or development (Schroeder  Lombardo, 2006).

To put it in its simplest terms, having been imbued with the proper managerial skills is a joy and gaining the right amount of leadership attributes a challenge.  The two complements each other, creating a complete package that the supervisor need.  The lack of the other, a supervisor will perform inadequately, find it hard to lead a team or people, and in turn lose better chances of realizing a vision or goal.

Human beings, in practice, should be treated humanely and compassionately.  These people should be able to work in a healthy and non-coercive environment to fully render their services effortlessly for the supervisor and in turn to the organization.  That is why in this study, leadership traits are deemed valuable and necessary that supervisors in the law enforcement field need to possess because the common characteristics of the people being managed  mostly those coming from diverse background and ages  need the more understanding and motivation than as against those people employed in the corporate industry where skills required are different and less demanding.  Supervisory skills can be a supervisors tool to use in putting into practice the attributes or qualities of a leader to be an effective leader.


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