Six roles of a director

A good director is a blessing for an entire enterprise. If a director has the ability to appropriately coordinate the efforts of his entire project staff, it is fairly certain that the group will achieve success, and by success we mean the fulfillment of

A good director is a blessing for an entire enterprise. If a director has the ability to appropriately coordinate the efforts of his entire project staff, it is fairly certain that the group will achieve success, and by success we mean the fulfillment of clients’ needs.

The skills of a director

A director should posses the skills to motivate his employees to work and to do the assigned tasks with care. He should also posses the skill to properly function under certain conditions imposed by a given environment. Though initially it may seem to be impossible, a good director can change every situation into an advantageous one. A director should try to achieve as much as possible with the limited resources at his disposal. Even the worst situation can be handled if there is enough willpower. If we have no power over certain issues, we should not focus on them. Why should we dwell on things that will never change and upon which we have no influence? Law is one such example. Of course, it would be highly advantageous for entrepreneurs if some amendments were made, but nothing can be done to effectively influence legislators. The focus on such irrelevant issues is considered a useless effort. A director hampers his own skills if he spends too much time on the things he cannot truly influence. It is better for him to focus on the issues he can always change, and to work on things others cannot interrupt. What are those issues? They are the things that should be associated with a director’s individual potential in reference to work.

The roles of a director and their aim

Every director should have the ability to perform several important roles assigned to him or her, namely: the role of a leader, a manager, a teacher, a specialist, an organizer, and, simply, a human being who understands his subordinates perfectly. Every one of those roles requires an appropriate attitude, different methods of action, and a certain ideological approach. Every role is effective for a specific type of situation, while it is simply inappropriate for other ones. Every role is designed for a specific purpose and application. These roles were created because directors had been searching for the most effective ways of coping with certain problems and specific situations.

Every role can be considered a tool in the hands of a skillful director. It is mainly up to him how it will be applied and what direction will it take. These roles prove to be most effective in specific areas of application. Let us now take a look at the specific roles that can be picked up by a director.

A leader

As a leader, the director is given a specific area of influence. This area is a field in which his actions are most effective. Sometimes, this role cannot be replaced by any other. It is essential in all crisis type situations where a workgroup is in great need of a strong motivating force or someone who will establish a clear path of action. Periodically, a leader proves to be irreplaceable. A director can, for a limited period of time, stop performing the role of a leader, but only in a situation in which his company is stable in its functioning and has clear-cut aims. However, this situation can be disastrous for the whole workforce, and no one should allow such threat to appear.

A leader is a person who is in charge of a group. As the skills related to leadership come with experience, not every director will prove to be a good leader from the start. He achieves the power and effectiveness of a leader with time. Excellent, professional competence is not enough to become an ideal leader. A leader is someone who employees want to listen to, therefore, there is no need for a prize and punishment system. By exerting influence on employees’ emotions and willpower, a leader is able to establish a course of action. Thanks to unique skills, a leader proves to be a powerful motivating force for others. He can sense his workers’ emotions and the relations between them. Therefore, he has the ability to pass on his vision to every employee, individually. The ability to appropriately engage in employees’ actions is a quality of a good leader.

An effective leader influences his subordinates by using a wide range of adequate tools. The instruments that can be of use to a leader-director include: a vision, relations, an achievement, dictatorship, democracy, and development.

A manager

If a director is to pick up the role of a manager, he must be ready to direct other people. This role is very important in a situation in which a company needs to be reorganized. Under such circumstances, it is up to a manager to make critical decisions that stem from his professional competence. He might have to decide who is to be employed or dismissed. A director has to coordinate his company’s actions on the operational, tactical, and strategic levels, but only after having consulted the owners of the business. Moreover, it is up to him to organize the whole process of work.

A director must appropriately divide tasks between his employees. In order for those tasks to be completed swiftly and effectively, every worker should be given assignments in accordance with his or her skills, interests, and abilities; only in such a case will a given task be completed quickly and effectively, and only then will it meet all the necessary standards.

A director, in the role of a manager, is usually employed at a company and is entirely or partially involved in the process of managing. It should not be forgotten that a manager is a person who has great knowledge of his workforce, and he knows whether or not new people have to be added to the staff. He also knows if there is a need to hand over certain tasks to external bodies. If he is given the appropriate tools, some specific authority, he will have the ability to increase the effectiveness of the entire company.

A teacher

A director plays the role of a teacher when he organizes trainings for new employees, or when he passes some new skills to those already working at his company. A teacher should have the time and patience to pass on his knowledge. There is no doubt that a director who has been working at a given enterprise for a long period of time has extensive practical knowledge which can be passed on to others during the education process. The problem is to have the ability to fluently switch from the role of a manager, who divides tasks between his subordinates, to a teacher who has appropriate pedagogical skills.

Not every director is good at teaching and this is not his fault. Pedagogical skills need not be innate. They can be learnt, and it would be good for a director to complete a training related to those skills. A teacher at an enterprise should find the time to solve any complexities which appear during the process of passing on the knowledge. People who have only been directors for many years may experience serious difficulties when they try to switch to the role of a teacher.

A specialist

Every director who works at a large organization and who directs a part of his company’s actions usually has appropriate knowledge related to his job. Therefore, it is safe to say that he is a specialist in a certain area. During numerous company-sponsored courses, school and university education, he acquired an abundance of theoretical knowledge. A director picks up a role of a specialist when he works on some project. When some actions are related specifically to his sphere of knowledge, he should be the one to carry them out. After all, he is the one who is in possession of the appropriate information necessary for the successful fulfillment of a given task. Therefore, not making use of this knowledge would be a kind of economic sin. As a specialist, a director can support a project staff by expressing his opinions without trying to impose his point of view. This last task is probably the most difficult one to learn for directors who pick up the role of a specialist.

An organizer

Every company has some internal organization policy that has to be followed at all times. If any conflicts related (mainly) to the inner structure of an enterprise arise, the director takes on the role of an organizer – a person who is well aware of the regulations and culture. He is then able to solve the problems. In the role of an organizer, the director has to be an excellent mediator, and he has to be aware of the reasons for individuals’ and groups’ actions within his company. Only then will he know how to act.

A human being

Sometimes, a director must step into a simple human being’s shoes in order to understand the individual way of thinking of his subordinates. He has to have the ability to talk with his employees and see the problem from their perspective. Sometimes, this proves to be very difficult. A director picks up such a role when his workers speak of personal or family problems. In such a situation, a director should show a degree of empathy and try to solve the problem. This may not be an easy thing, though. Every person is different; everyone has different qualities and character. This is no different for the director himself. Therefore, he should be perceived not only as a superior, but also as a human being who can make mistakes, be an imperfect person, or simply have a bad day. Employees should try to understand their director as a person.

To summarize, directors of a company, directors of a section of a company or project directors may pick up various roles depending on the kinds of situations that appear, and coworkers’ and directors needs. Sometimes, a company might be in need of a leader who will motivate the whole team. Some circumstances might require an organizer who will solve internal conflicts. The ability to fluently switch between different roles is essential to be a good director. After years of working at this post, the acquired experience helps shape specific character qualities that increase the effectiveness of a director who takes on the aforementioned roles.