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So, you want to be a Certified Club Manager.

Leadership Styles

A club manager’s role is to inspire team members to be effective and actively work towards improving the club’s organisational goals. And, as a club manager (or prospective club manager) there are different leadership styles you can call upon and ones that will more naturally suit your persona and personality.

Effective leaders understand the benefits of choosing a leadership style that is the most effective and efficient in achieving the desired goals. Further, they recognise that a ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work, and different leadership styles need to be utilised depending on the context.

There are many terms and labels used to define and distinguish different leadership styles. Below are some of the common ones, along with a brief description. The balance of the article will focus on transactional, transformational and situational leadership styles.

Autocratic Leadership – the ‘leader’ has significant power over staff and rarely considers their suggestions or affords them any control.

Laissez-Faire Leadership - a hands-off approach, allowing team members to complete their roles as they see fit.

Democratic Leadership – also known as participative leadership, where team members are asked for input before decisions are made.

Bureaucratic Leadership – usually associated with highly regulated environments where adherence to rules is critical.

Charismatic Leadership – where the positive charm and personality of the leader is the key driver.

Servant Leadership – utilises decision sharing models and encourages a collective and collaborative approach.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders believe that team members are motivated by rewards or punishments. Rewards demonstrate that staff are following orders, and punishment is a result of non-performance or disobeying orders.

Transactional leaders establish a clear ‘chain of command’ and believe staff should do as they are told.

Transformational Leadership

“Leaders and followers make each other advance to a higher level of morale and motivation.”

James MacGregor Burns

Transformational leadership is founded on a manager’s need to inspire their team and for them to work together towards common goals and objectives.

Transformational leaders do this by gaining the trust, admiration, and respect of their team, with the success of the leader being measured by the impact on others.

There are four different components of transformational leadership:

  1. Intellectual Stimulation - Transformational leaders challenge and encourage creativity among their team members and encourage them to explore new ways of doing things and provide new opportunities to learn.

  2. Individualised Consideration - Transformational leadership offers support and encouragement to individual team members. It fosters supportive relationships and keeps lines of communication open so that individuals are able to share ideas and receive direct recognition for their contributions.

  3. Inspirational Motivation - Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to their team. These leaders are also able to motivate those around them to experience the passion and motivation required to fulfil goals.

  4. Idealised Influence - The transformational leader serves as a role model for the team. Team members learn to trust, respect, and strive to emulate their leader by internalising the leader’s ideals.

Transactional vs. Transformational Leaders

Transactional leadership is a managerial approach, whereas transformational leadership is a relationship approach.

Below is a comparison of both the leadership styles:

Situational Leadership

For the situational leader, there is no single leadership style, and that leadership is dependent on the task being managed (context). Situational leaders, therefore, manage according to the situation and the task/staff member they are dealing with at the time. To be effective, this type of leader needs to be able and ready to change depending on the situation.

The Club Managers Association of Australia (CMAA) has been supporting and developing club managers to achieve high levels of leadership and management ability for many years. The training and development of knowledgeable and motivated leaders that are capable of achieving greatness on behalf of their clubs is a passion of the CMAA. To this end, they offer the professional certification - the Active Certified Club Managers Award (ACCM).

Individuals who hold the ACCM, have demonstrated that they possess the skills, have the range of knowledge and can model behaviours that drive premium results for their club.

The foundation stone of the ACCM is the Club Managers Leadership and Management program, an online, training course, delivered by elevateB (a specialist training company) and independently endorsed by Australis College (a Registered Training Organisation)

The Club Managers Leadership and Management program has been modelled on the Diploma of Leadership and Management, ensuring it covers a full gambit of management and leadership topics. Importantly, it has been tailored and contextualised for club environments and day to day club management situations. To successfully complete the program, participants are required to demonstrate required knowledge, skills and abilities through application and activity submissions.

For more information on the Club Managers Leadership and Management program, click here.


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