Why Effective Front Line Leadership is Vital to an Organization

Strong leadership is the key to success in any field, it’s especially important in aviation, though.  Becoming a leader is more than just getting promoted into a managerial role.  It’s taking the time to learn what leadership takes and committing to become the best leader possible.

Without strong leadership, no organization can bring their staff together to accomplish business objective and obtain desired results.  In an industry that prides itself on stringent standards and that the public relies on for safety, leadership is imperative.

The Two Areas of Business

Business operations require both front line employees and management.  Front line employees are responsible for performing operation tasks that the business is responsible for, in the case of an aviation mechanic company that would entail repairs and inspections.  Management personnel are hired to guide business strategy and processes to ensure efficiency and profit.  Without both front line and management personnel, a business cannot operate successfully.   Leadership is not relegated to only management.

What is Effective Leadership

Effective leadership is a complex topic that couldn’t possibly be covered in one paragraph, what’s important to get out of this is that leadership is vital to an organization, and a plan to attain it is imperative.

One of the most important leadership roles in an organization is the front line supervisor.  These people not only are experts on the main function of the company’s services but also act as a liaison between the front line employees and management.  Their role includes…

  • Bridging the gap between operations and business strategies
  • Connecting performance with the bottom-line
  • Developing the company’s competitive advantage

When people are promoted into a supervisory role, without the proper training or fortitude to be leaders, they are not prepared for the responsibilities of being the key representative of the company to their employees.  They are not prepared for what it means to have a direct impact on performance, retention and morale of their employees.  They won’t have the knowledge that their behaviors and attitudes directly impact the bottom line.

A supervisor must have the ability to…

  • Manage resources
  • Work effectively with others
  • Solve problems
  • Provide meaningful communications

Why Supervisors Fail

Not only is it important for a supervisor to understand the role, but also to understand that if performed incorrectly they are a huge liability to the company, due to the magnified impact of their actions.

Supervisors often fail to understand this because they were never taught this.  Other reasons supervisors fails are…

  • Poor delegation – often times supervisors are better than their staff at doing technical things and find it easier to do it their selves rather than delegate it
  • Continuing to be a ‘buddy’ – finding the line between management and the front line can be challenging
  • Not understanding how to use their authority – by being too stern they will alienate authorities
  • Being a poor role model – how they act is how their employees can be expected to act
  • Simply promoted for technical ability but didn’t want to be a supervisor

While there are many reasons that supervisors can fail, there is one way that supervisors are sure to succeed; proper training.  In the next post, we will get into how to train a supervisor and the support that companies need to give in order to ensure success.

Northrop Rice has over 40 years of aviation training experience and expertise in the classroom.  We provide strong theory and practical learning techniques.  Click here to contact us to find out how we can help you with efficient and effective training that both strengthens your workforce and qualifies them to FAA standards.

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