Using a range of management styles to lead a business
An Enterprise Rent-A-Car case study

Page 2: Leadership and management

Management involves control and organisation to get something done. In the course of business, managers use many different skills. They:

  • plan and organise people and resources
  • set and monitor budgets
  • control operations or services in order to meet customers' needs. The ability to manage is essential at all levels in the organisation

However, for a business to excel, leadership is vital. A leader is somebody who sets the direction and inspires other people. A leader is able to influence others in meetings or when making decisions. This helps to achieve the goals of the organisation. Enterprise has leaders at all levels of its business, not just senior management. Some people are natural leaders. For example, the captain of a school football team will probably have the ability to influence others. Leaders can also develop through training and education.

Leaders are also managers. For example, an Enterprise General Manager leads a regional group of City Managers. City Managers are leaders of their front-line management employees. Andy Taylor, the current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Enterprise, was a manager for his father Jack Taylor. He carried out the processes and systems his father set up. Today, Andy leads and manages the business.

Flexibility

There are many different management styles. These styles influence how leaders communicate with employees. For example, Enterprise operates an 'open door' policy. This enables everybody within the organisation to have direct contact with senior managers. This might be through meetings or having lunch in the same dining area.

The CEO Andy Taylor is following the values set by his father by making opportunities for employees to meet and talk to senior managers. This shows an informal style and a lack of hierarchy. Enterprise puts a high value on teamwork and open communication between employees at all levels.

Enterprise employs motivated individuals with the potential to become good leaders. 

Managers have their own preferred management style. Some prefer an autocratic style where they tell employees what to do and how to do it. Others prefer a democratic style where they help their team to discover solutions to problems for themselves.

However, the management style must change to fit the circumstances. Some decisions must be made at the highest level. For example, a manager would need to give immediate instructions on a health and safety issue or in a fire. However, if changing an office layout, the manager could leave the team to investigate and decide on the solution for themselves.

Leadership as a competence

When recruiting, Enterprise looks for leadership qualities in candidates. It considers leadership to be a core competence. It recognises that the skills and capabilities to lead others are essential for business growth. Recruits learn how to run parts of the business.

The focus is on making decisions that improve customer service. General managers are empowered to make decisions covering a region. Branch managers have the authority to deliver good customer service locally. Each local branch operates like a small business. Managers make decisions that support the needs of their customers. Front-line management trainees are encouraged to use the best management style to suit different customers.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car | Using a range of management styles to lead a business

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