Developing appropriate leadership styles
A Tesco case study

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Page 2: Management and leadership

cmyk_everyThere is a difference between management and leadership. Management is about getting things done. Managers organise human and physical resources to achieve business aims and objectives. Leadership is about influencing, motivating and inspiring people. It is about coaching and developing people, treating them with respect but challenging them. Leaders seek to create strong teams, with people committed to the organisation’s overall goals.

The process of managing starts with the target or objective to be achieved. A manager must decide on the appropriate approach for reaching that target. The manager then needs to communicate this approach clearly to his or her team and to allocate tasks to each team member. Task allocation and delegation of responsibility is part of the management function. However, other factors will also have an influence on whether the target is achieved, including the task in hand, the skills of the team and the style of leadership.

tesco-1The style of leadership can vary depending on the task. Some managers allow teams to take charge of their own decision-making for many tasks. Team leaders will set the objectives but empower team members to decide how these objectives are achieved. This has several advantages. It helps to motivate individuals in the team and it draws on the expertise of the members of the team.

Berian is a bakery manager

Berian manages a team of 17 in a Tesco in-store bakery. One of the key challenges of Berian’s job is to ensure his team produces the right products to meet demand at key times. His usual management approach is to allow the team to take responsibility for achieving the desired result. In this way, the team not only buys into the activity, but also develops new skills. For example, when the bakery expanded its product range and Berian needed to ensure that all the products would be on the shelves by 8.00 am, rather than enforce a solution, he turned to the team for ideas. The team solved the problem by agreeing to split break times so that productivity could be maintained. Berian’s approach produced a positive outcome and increased team motivation.

Tesco’s leadership framework sets out not just the skills and competencies but also the personal characteristics and behaviours it expects of its leaders. Tesco looks for managers who are positive, confident and genuine, with the capacity to inspire and encourage their teams. A key part of Tesco’s programme for building leaders is encouraging self review and reflection. This allows staff to assess their strengths and find ways of demonstrating the characteristics that are vital to the long-term development of the business.

Tesco | Developing appropriate leadership styles