Team Management and Leadership

Are human beings superhuman? It depends on your views, basing on their performance. In fact, man makes mistakes. He is not perfect. This extends to where man works. We do not expect an individual being recruited for a certain job to have all that it takes to perform the job satisfactorily. As the saying goes no man is an island. We all need each other’s help. As for people who work in an organization, there is the need for a leader who makes sure that the personnel do their work as expected. Let us look at it from this angle; an individual has been recruited as the new manager. Well done! Or, perhaps an individual is assigned the task of pulling a new panel together. What a confrontation! Either way, your team already thrives or you have a duty to create it. But the question of how will you go about it still abounds. This paper tries to explain some of the steps that ought to be undertaken by managers who would want their teams to thrive. This covers several areas starting with the selection of a certain individual for a certain task, proper ways of communicating with staff, personnel motivation as well as pitfalls that managers can avoid while making decisions (Poole, 1999, p. 947). The article explains this basing on my experience as a worker in the ports and shipping industry.

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Before commencing, it is only right to consider and elucidate the rationale for selecting team management as my topic. Individuals working at the ports and shipping industry have been forced to face plenty of challenges. These challenges range from unpredictable changes of the environment, health risks as well as air quality issues associated with dust. In spite of the challenges, the ports play a very important role in the diverse state transport network. Therefore the different states grow not only economically but also financially from the ports and shipping industry. The job thus calls for total commitment from the staff members. Co-operation is also a vital tool that should be exercised and well utilized by the entire team. For all the years I have been working in the ports and shipping industry, I have realized that nothing is as fruitful as co-operation among team members. The absence of team work is a lee-way to futile abilities (Schein, 2010, p. 396). The incorporation of teamwork depends on the visions and decisions of the manager. This is because he is the leader of the entire organization. This is the main reason as to why I decided to talk about team management.

The topic – team management – is of great relevance to my working environment at the ports and shipping industry. Personnel management is of significance via key directions from the manager. If the team is managed well, then I will be able to carry out my duties smoothly in spite of the unavoidable challenges that I always encounter. In certain cases, I usually elude some pitfalls as a result of proper team management. This is because all the team members are organized and fully dedicated towards their service.

Nearly everybody has a vision. A vision may be defined as where one would want to be in some years to come. Similarly, this applies to me. As a worker at the ports and shipping industry, I have a vision. I imagine how it would feel to be the new manager of the ports and shipping industry. I would consider this as a dream come true and it will not do me any harm to learn some of the ways of team management. I therefore consider team management as a matter of great importance to the progression of my career.

There is a way in which proper team management can be effected in the ports and shipping industry. This necessitates the need for core skills. As observed by Legge (2005), the first thing that should be done by the manager is delegation. “No man is an island” as the saying goes. It does not matter how skillful the manager may be. With a team behind him, he will be able to achieve what he could not have achieved alone. Therefore, there is need for effective delegation. A prosperous delegation commences with a good match between people and their duties (Storey, 2007, 264). This can only be done if all the members understand their roles and goals. The setting up of a team charter by the manager will help us by showing the purpose of each and every team and how it works. The creation of a team charter will provide a good start as well as pull together all the members of the panel who are out of track. From there, skills, acquaintances, experiences and competence among the team members will have to be analyzed. Consequently, individuals will have to be matched with the right tasks.

As a manager, it is ones duty to motivate the team members. Motivating the team members is usually based on two assumptions. The first is based on those individuals who are happy to work. The second assumption is based on those individuals who are intrinsically lazy. There isn’t any specific way or a guide/manual that has been defined to be considered while motivating workers. Therefore, in the course of inspiring my workforce, I may have to keep in my mind the fact that when it comes to tackling the aspect of motivation, the requirements of individuals are diverse. Throughout my years of work, I have realized that there are those individuals who are highly self motivated while others tend to perform their tasks below expectations in the absence of managerial input.

There are some things that I will have to consider while developing my team. I will have to classify my team basing on the different capabilities, outlooks as well as stages of their careers. As a matter of fact, some individuals tend to find the tasks allocated to them as tough and tricky thus needing support. Others may be searching for opportunities to improve on their skills regarding a particular task. Conversely, my duty as an administrator will be to build up all my people. This is due to the fact that my skills in the aspect of administration will determine my long term success as a manager. This will base on whether I have helped the team members perform better in the fields that I have allocated them. I will have to ensure that everything goes on well in the development of my team by receiving regular feedback on the performance of the team. This will offer room for all the team members to gain from the enhanced performance.

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In team management, there is a way in which the manager has to communicate with his team and even other individuals outside the organization (Martin, 2008, p. 189). Although means of communication are indispensable to any worker, the manager has a different technique to incorporate while communicating. As a manager, I will have to chair nearly all the meetings in case they are to be held with the inclusion of meetings that waste the time of the team individuals. This necessitates a way of chairing the meetings effectively.

As a manager, I will have to chair meetings that entail suggestions. Therefore, this necessitates creative ideas on how to participate in case things do not go as expected. There is need as a manager to listen actively while the team members deliberate over diverse issue. It has been attested that the best managers are active listeners and tend to detect confusion early enough. Solutions are provided before it is too late. As a manager I will have to ensure that costly misunderstandings are done away with. I will also try my best to ensure that trust is built among the team members.

In order to manage my team properly, I will have to ensure that I interact freely with my boss. I have seen misunderstandings arise among team members due to poor communication between the team manager and his boss at the ports and shipping industry. To avoid these misunderstandings among my team members, I will have to understand what my boss needs from my team members, what he prefers and how he likes it to be delivered. Through this I will have to meet my boss’ approval. Approaching my boss and learning more from him will also be of great benefit on my part. In order to manage my team properly, I will have to protect them from unnecessary pressure. Also, I may be in charge of supervising the relations of the other clusters with my group/ team constituents. This will be done via the identification of their needs from us and what they can do to help us.

According to Storey (1999), it is of great importance as the team manager to manage discipline among the team members. As a matter of fact, discipline is not only bestowed upon the workers just so that they do not forfeit work. The employees can be criticized for their unnecessary phone use, their keeping of time as well as personal grooming. Certain things should be considered before deciding on whether to take action or not. First thing to consider is if the mistake is either external (affects customers) or internal (can be felt by fellow team members). Each time I stumble upon a likely discipline concern, I will take my time to pull together the crucial information regarding the situation at hand and then settle on the way forward. Discipline related issues have been attested to cause enmity, discontent and bitterness among fellow team members and therefore need to be checked.

One key failure among most new managers in the ports industry is the thought that they can rely solely on their existing knowledge and technical skills to prosper as a manager (Storey, 1999, p. 115). It is very essential to take time to discover and develop superior team management skills that are central to an individual’s practical expertise.

In conclusion, I would like to recommend developing of new team management skills to an individual being moved from worker level to managerial level. The new manager should incorporate well his new techniques and tools. This may be of great help to him in organizing, motivating and communicating with his team. On top of that, one should learn about effective delegation, motivation of people, effective management of discipline and effective communication with people within and outside his team (Poole, 1999, p. 756). The few pitfalls encountered by most new managers should be avoided.

References

Legge, K. (2005). Human resource management: Rhetorics and realities. Basingstoke, HS: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Martin, J. (2008). Human resource management. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

Poole, M. (1999). Human resource management: Critical perspectives on business and management. London: Routledge.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational culture and leadership. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Storey, J. (2007). Human resource management: A critical text. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Storey, J. (1999). New perspectives on human resource management. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning EMEA.

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