The days of one style fits all are gone. Today’s manager needs to vary his Style of Management to bring out the Best in each Employee.

The demands of the workforce today are not the same as they were yesterday. The corporate world is changing at the speed of light and there is no escaping the pressure to create a new profile of what a manager should be.

In the past, you could survive as a manager with one main style. This is not possible anymore. New demands from customers, employees and society drive the corporation and the manager to be different. This means that as a manager, you need to assess and evaluate what type of leader you need to be. It also requires you to be ready, willing and able to change.

The successful manager of the 21st century is regularly evaluating himself and constantly asking: "How can I do this better?"

He is flexible, learns fast, thinks and acts globally and creates value for all stakeholders involved such as colleagues and customers. He takes full responsibility for his own behavior and drives his team to achieve exceptional results. By using situational leadership styles, he ensures each team member creates value and results for the company.

Once you take charge of a division, you will be lucky indeed if you inherit an entire team of people who are already self-motivated, self-responsible peak performers. But that is not likely to happen. Instead, you will probably have to help members of your staff understand and fully internalize the principles of self-motivation and self-responsibility.

You will need to use different styles for different people and different situations in order to get your people to perform at peak levels. You should therefore analyze what type of support your subordinates need in their various tasks and responsibilities and then manage and lead them accordingly.

What you need to do is to evaluate your subordinates’ ability and motivation to perform their tasks in order to choose the correct management style. And it’s a different style for each task, depending on their ability and performance. To make it simple, you can divide your team members into three categories.

The Low Performer
This person has little or some ability and is often new to the job or specific task. His performance is low and he doesn't deliver significant results. The reason for the low performance can be a lack of ability for and understanding of the job or task.

However, the person can also be de-motivated, that is, not being committed to the work or having a negative work attitude. If a person is categorised as a low performer, you need to provide him with a clear direction, clarification and training, then supervise closely and follow-up accordingly. Basically, you tell him what he needs to do. The management style for a low performer is Directing.

The Average Performer
This person has a good understanding of the job or specific task and moderate or even high ability. His performance varies throughout the year. Sometimes, the individual's willingness to perform is reduced due to a lack of self-confidence, low motivation or difficulties faced in performing the task. If a person is categorised as an average performer, you need to encourage, support, motivate and give some direction and clarification. The management style for an average performer is Coaching.

The Peak Performer
This person has an excellent understanding and ability of what needs to be done. He achieves beyond expectations or even produces superior results. The motivation is high and he seldom needs Encouragement.

He is a self-starter and needs very little or even no direction and supervision. But he will expect a facilitating management style and a manager who is more a colleague and mentor than a boss. Make sure you delegate responsibility, give him authority to decide and challenge him to take additional responsibilities. The management style for a peak performer is Empowerment.

To be a manager in the 21st century is definitely a challenge. But if you follow the above guidelines you will take a big step forward as a manager. Remember to:

Analyse your subordinates’ performance levels, motivation and general needs’

Apply the “correct” leadership style accordingly; Develop each person’s ability and influence to achieve self-responsibility; Give your vision of where you want to be as a company, division and team; and Lead them towards your vision and encourage peak performance at all levels and all times.