Analysing Personal Development as a Strategic Manager

Management and leadership skills are needed in every industry and every walk of life. Therefore it is essential for new managers to learn the leadership skills as well as manager skills to perform effectively and efficiently. In this assignment, I investigate what leadership skills required by a manager. My chosen business is Tesco, which is UK biggest retailer and I have been able to investigate these issues by referring to related books and some internet resources. The focus of this assignment is to find which leadership skills required are by Tesco from their manager and how Tesco developed these skills in their managers. The results of this study show that if managers have good leadership skills then managers are ready to lead their team and organisations toward their goals.


Management is a group of individuals taking decisions about how a business is run and also perform some duties like problem solving, decision making, planning, meeting, team management, delegation, and personal development. Despite similarities in the general activities of management, the job roles of individual managers differ widely and the work of manager is varied and fragmented according to business needs and depends on their abilities. The word management evokes power. A negative impact can be caused by having one person superior to every one else, such as a president would take the decision to go to war, even though nobody would be happy with that idea.

Now we can see there are different approaches to solve the problems adopt by the managers and the leaders. However the aim of all these approaches is to turn negative thinking into positive. Management is the process of getting work done effectively and efficiently with and through other people and choose the best way which is in the best interest of the organisation and for the team. 21st century management is not business management. “It is particularly important for the growth sector of a developed society and Management is the specific and distinguishing organ of any and all organisations”. (Drucker, 1999)

What is Manager?

In any organisation, an individual who is in charge of a certain group of people, tasks or a certain department is called manager. A manager often has a group of people who take orders and give the report to him or her. As an example, a restaurant will have a manager who helps the customers and supervises the hosts as well. Managers designate according to the nature of the department within the company and they can be line managers, store managers or area managers depending upon the functionality of the department. Early in the history of management manager was defined as “someone who is responsible for the work of other peoples”. (Drucker, 1999) According to Mullins, “a manager should be strategically aware and appreciate the origins and nature of change. They should developed themselves and be competent to deal effectively with the problems which represent opportunities and threats to the environment, the organisation’s culture and values, and the resources of the organisation” (Mullins, 1999). Kanter states that “Managers also have to be specialists in ambiguity with the ability to cope with conflicting and unclear requirements”. (Kanter, 1984)

Roles/Duties of Mangers within the Organisation

Managers carry out their work on a daily basis and perform different roles/duties according to the situations. “A single word to describe all these features would be chaos”. (Peters, 1988) Managers have the both duties to manage themselves as well as their subordinates. So here under some of roles/duties of the managers which they perform everyday.

Getting things done.

Set the daily targets.

Planning ahead.

Maintaining momentum and making thinks happen.

Reacting to demands and request.

Communication and decision making.

Dealing with customers and staff.

Deal with different situations as they arise.

Follow the health and safety procedure.

Styles of Management and Required Skills

We see above the different roles/duties of managers and now we will see various management styles and how managers are functioning in these styles. There are usually five different styles in which a manager may apply leadership attributes to operate effectively at strategic level and keep the team running in businesses. Which are as follows?







In this style, manager invites employees to take part in the process of decision-making therefore everything is agreed by the majority. The communication is in both directions from subordinates to leaders and vice-versa. This style can be very useful when crucial decision need to be made which need more attention than others. For example, when a new ICT system needs to be put in place and the upper management of the business is computer-illiterate. In democratic style decision making process is slow but the quality of work improves and makes the best decision for the business.


An Autocratic or strict manager makes all the decisions, keeping the information and decision making among the senior management. Managers set objectives and tasks for the team and they exactly do as they are told to do. The communication in this style is mainly from leader to the subordinate. According to the critics, this style of management decreases the motivation in the employees. The main advantage of this style is that business looks well managed and the decisions will all be similar but the disadvantage is that subordinates may become highly dependent upon the leaders and supervision may needed all the time.


Paternalistic style is good for the welfare and motivation of employees. However managers make the decisions in the best interest of the employees rather than the business. The leader explains most decisions to the employees and ensures that their social and leisure needs are always met. Communication is again downwards but this style is highly advantageous because in this staff looks happier and give their best for the business and the disadvantage is Employees may feel valued but frustrated because there is little scope for decision making.

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In a Laissez-faire style, the manager role is secondary and the subordinates are free to make decisions and manage their own areas of the business. The communication move in this style is horizontal, meaning that it is equal in both directions, however very little communication occurs in comparison with other styles. This style is only successful if the team is professional and expert in their areas otherwise may lead to chaos without the involvement of the management. Regular communication and feedback is required for this style of work.


There are two Consultative leadership styles; the first involves the leader sharing the problems with the relevant team members individually getting their ideas and suggestions without bringing them together as a group. Then the leader makes the decision that may or may not reflect the team member influence. The second style is similar but in this leader gets the suggestions from the group of team members and on the basis of these suggestions comes to the decision. (

What is Leadership?

Leadership requires a person not to lead a different set of people in an organisation but influence and motivate them. Therefore, the term dictates a person to be followed and respected by others and for these followers to find a way through leadership to express their selves with more exuberance (Heifetz, 1994). Leadership definition according to Northouse is that “leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal”. (Northouse, 2006) It is concerned that how leaders put their influence on followers. The basic of leadership is influence and without put any affect leadership does not exist.

The Distinction between Management and Leadership

Managers have to be leaders but leaders are often, but not always managers. But the distinction can be made between the process of management and leadership. What is the difference between management and leadership? It is a question that has been asked more than once and also answered in different ways. This is the same as saying that they are working for two different purposes. The easy way to understand the difference is that leadership make the new directions and the manager executes the existing directions as efficiently as possible. The other difference between managers and leaders is that leaders motivate the people who work or follow them and on the other hand managers have subordinates and they work for them but not follow them. Managers normally set the task for their team members and the team do what they are told to do so. But the manager work is not just the monitoring of everyday operations but it’s also includes handle the complex situations and take decision according to these situations. Unfortunately, management is mistakenly seen as task-oriented, controlling and insensitive to people’s needs. By contrast, leaders are portrayed as emotionally engaging, visionary and inspiring. “An inspiring leader induces us to change direction while an inspiring manager motivates us to work harder to get a tough job done on time”. (Armstrong, 2008)

What Leadership Skills are required by Manager to Perform Effectively?

To manage effectively, an individual requires many skills and various personal qualities for successful completion of their objectives. The quality and the skills together make the management style of the individual and the style directly affect the final outcome of the task completion. As a manager, there are a lot of leadership skills that need to be required by a manager to effectively operate at strategic level. According to the Pedler et al (1986) these are the following leadership skills or attributes that should be possessed by a successful manager and broadly these are:

Interpersonal skills



Problem solver

Communication ability

Decision making



Providing direction

Facilitating change

The above mentioned leadership skills is very essential for any manager to perform effectively and successful companies are built by good managers and expert leaders and managers skills play a vital role for the success of the company and most successful companies have the best managers at the business whether they be traditional or internet based companies. Now I would like to discuss some important manager skills which are required by Tesco Company as an example and how their managers use their skills to make the Tesco top retailer in the United Kingdom.


Tesco is a UK-owned supermarket company with revenue of £47 billion (about £33 billion in the UK) Tesco is the largest British retailer and is also the world’s third largest grocery retailer with outlets across Europe, USA and Asia. In 1919 Jack Cohen founded Tesco when he began to sell surplus groceries from a stall in the East End of London.The company has recently opened stores in all over the world and this is the part of the plan to expand and grow their business all over the world. (Talking Tesco, 2009)

What Leadership Skills Tesco Mangers required?

A good combination of Tesco management has seen that their company rises above its competitors and dominate the UK market. Tesco management has good criteria about appointing their manager. They have a good system to develop their skills and continuous development plan are other components in the success of Tesco strategic management. So given below are some of the leadership skills which a Tesco manager is required to perform effectively and efficiently.

Interpersonal Skills

Good interpersonal skills are essential for any organization managers. For example in Tesco stores all the team members has easy access to their managers and can easily speak what they feel or if they have any problem.

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Delegation is another important leadership skill which a manager should have to work effectively. Delegation should be applied using the SMART principles. Where SAMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time. In Tesco stores managers is pass out all the information they have to their team members and all of them knows what they expect from them.


Tesco is progressing so fast because their managers analyse the key issue in the market properly and act according to them. For example keep an eye on the prices of their competitor’s and change them accordingly and in this way you don’t lose your customer.

Problem Solver

Tesco management gives advanced training to their managers to handle the difficult situations and find the best solutions which are according to the legislation and regulations of the company.

Communication Ability

This skill involves the ability to transmit messages, thoughts, and information and so on by talking, writing etc. Good communication is required within the workplace so that employer and its employees can maintain good working relationship. For example in Tesco when any internal vacancy available then manager have to communicate to the staff first by advertising, by oral communication or through monthly staff meeting.

Managing Team

This skill shows how manager make plan to manage their teams according to the need of the business and this activity in Tesco consists of designing Rota for

each employee and make sure that overtimes and covering for someone

who is not available are taken in consideration.

Decision making

Managers should have the ability to make decisions like leaders and this skill is the one which creates the difference between the effective management and standard management. In Tesco stores mostly decision made by managers and its good for the business because manager work closely with their team and customers and know better than the others who just sitting in the office.


Innovation is very important for the growth of the business and Tesco manager are well aware of these. They try new ideas in the business like the idea of self checkout machines which is very beneficial and through these you can easily increase your sales and customer waiting time is reduced as well.

Managing Change

In order to become a market leader Tesco managers make sure that they are aware of the changes happening in the market. For example changes in consumer taste, trends and keep an eye on their competitors for counter-act.

Achieving Results

Managers should have the skill of goal achiever and finish the daily operational task within the given time and this way they can check performance of their team.

Performance Focus

Tesco manager check their staff performance on monthly or some time on quarterly basis and review their performance and give them a training to improve their effectiveness.

Customer Focus

In retail business mostly too much focus on customer care and for this they adopt different way to get the customer review about their services or about their products.

Providing Direction

Tesco have the objective to maximize their profit and for that they give their manager special training that how their manager move their team in right direction which is achieve this target and everybody of their team know what they expect from them.

Risk Assessment

Managers should be able to do risk assessment on their work place. Manager can calculate the risk by the help of these five steps:

Firstly identify the hazards and work out how people could be harmed.

Think you might be harmed and how?

Evaluate the risks and decide on which precautions you adopt.

Record your findings and make a plan to implement them and share with your staff.

Review your risk assessment and update if necessary.

You can calculate risk assessment by this simple formula Risk = Severity x Likelihood and can record the assessment by help of 3 x 3 matrix (see in appendix 1, page 20)

With the help of this chart you can record your risk and make plan for health and safety. (Rowlings, 2010)

To conclude, Tesco managers are well equipped with leadership skills which described above and they are very successful in their jobs role and Tesco become the leader of the UK market. Without the presence of these skills managers could be failing and will not be as effective as others, and the business will eventually fail if there is no action taken to develop these skills. After this the next step is personal gap analysis and personal development plan of the manager and its show the clear picture of where they are stand and what steps they need to take to get the desired outcomes.

Personal Gap Analysis

Gap analysis helps individuals and businesses to achieve their objectives and improve their performance. It is a simple but very effective tool to find the ways between actual and the desired goals or objectives. Successful organisations use this tool for the development of their employees and to identify the area of improvement. Gap analysis begins by asking you two simple questions: (Rowlings, 2010)

Where are you now?

Where do you want to be?

By answering these questions you can easily make personal development plan and the action plan to achieve desired outcome or goal.

Personal Development Plan

Personal skills development plan is very necessary for any manager to perform effectively. By the audit of your personal skills development plan you can easily know your areas of strength and the areas where you need more training. On the basis of these outcomes you can make your action plan for the future. So as an example I will analyse Tesco store manager Paul Holloway. He is managing the Tesco store at Wolverton for last 8 months and has worked for the company last 23 years in various roles across the country and here is his personal skills audit and personal development plan.

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Personal Skills Audit and Personal Development Plan

Of Paul Holloway Wolverton Tesco Store Manager



Score 1-5

(5 highest )

Communication and literacy skills

I am good in communication with my team and team members easily follow me what I want to say. I also have good relation with the customer and its possible by the communication skill


Group &interpersonal skills

( working with others)

I have plenty of experience of working as part of a team and very efficient member of a group. I always try to make positive impact on others and decision which I make depend on the consultation with team and get everybody suggestion to make final decision. I am quite good to welcome to new people and easily adjust with them.


Organizational &personal skills – independent learning and working

I am self motivated person and I can plan and schedule the work as I choose. Although I do my best which is best interest of the organization and my team.


Research &problem solving skills

I take problems as a challenges

Rather than major obstacles. I discuss with my team and choose the best process to solve the problem and make the plan that ensures that we will not face it in the future.


ICT skills

I am confident to use the latest technology equipment and good in handling machinery. I use the internet for research and also make contact with my colleagues and top management.


Enterprise management skills

I try to manage the strategic direction of the whole store and try to keep it on track by making daily basis action plan and review these regularly.


Action Plan for Personal Development Plan Outcomes

Of Paul Holloway Wolverton Tesco Store Manager




Promote equality and diversity in my workplace

Join the local community centre or some learning organizations to find out more about equality and diversity.

Within 3 months

Promote the use of technology in my business

Promote myself and team members to get training about the new technology.

Within 3 months

Lead change within my organization

Take leadership training course or attend the seminars about change and they implement with in the organization.

Within 6 months

Develop a strategic plan

Try to do more e-learning about the business plan and get the skills required to put plan in the business.

Within 2 months

Put the business plan into action

Implement the business plan and monitor at regular intervals.

Within 6 months

Having carried out this personal skills audit, we are able to identify the areas where he is strong and where he needs more training and development to operate effectively in these departments. So he can easily make his action plan for the personal development plan outcomes. By these assessments leaders know where they stand and take the best route to achieve their goals. It is also the first step towards their personal and professional development process required to become a strategic leader.


According to the finding’s leadership skills of Tesco management is playing a vital role in their success. Tesco is a successful UK organisation and over the past five years their market shares is increased and setup some new retail units as well. This has been achieved by their good management department skills that are playing a major part in their success. Leading is just as important to Tesco as other functions of the management, because Tesco spent too much on their managers training to develop their leadership skills. In other words leading can be directly linked to corporate image in the sense that whatever employees or their managers do is perceived by customers and the local community as their organisational culture. Therefore, if employees are very helpful towards customers it will lead to delight customers and delight customer’s leads to success of the organisation. Tesco managers have good interpersonal and communicational skills which will create a friendly environment where employees will feel free and happy to work and also raise the performance of Tesco and help the company to achieve their objectives. Management of Tesco are doing their best to make their company at the highest position.

I have noticed that the role of a manager is very complex and broad. The manager has to try to bring harmony and peace while working in the organisation. Mostly people make a common mistake about the manger is that they must be loud, and a great drinker or a great something social to draw people to them. This is wrong, if you look in any company structure, you will find quiet modest people who manage teams with great personal success. If you are modest and all you need is to talk clearly to the people. The great managers are the ones who accept challenges and who are ready to lead their teams towards a personal vision.

According to research, currently in the UK business market only one in five managers is professionally qualified and strong demand for managers who got the leadership skills is growing within the businesses. It is very important for individuals who are in position of great responsibility to be able to play both roles. The person who cannot manage will destroy an organisation just as well as the one who don’t know how to lead. But the people who have both skills are on the path to success.

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