Supervisor Essentials

Essentials of Leadership 100

This class explains core ideas about effective leadership in the workplace. It covers concepts including leadership myths, leadership ethics, customer-focused vision, transformational and situational leadership theories, and managerial roles theory.

After taking this class, users will understand how effective leadership can help to foster collaboration, understanding, and productivity while facilitating meaningful change and maintaining employee motivation and empowerment. Any employees training for managerial work, assuming newly assigned supervisory duties, or simply seeking to take on a stronger leadership role on their team will benefit from engaging with the topics covered.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 14

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Leadership
  • The Difference Between Management and Leadership
  • Leadership Myths
  • Ethical Leadership
  • Customer-Focused Vision
  • Facilitating Change
  • Employee Motivation and Empowerment
  • Leadership Review
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Situational Leadership
  • Managerial Roles Theory
  • Leadership in Manufacturing
  • Leadership Theories Review
  • Leadership: Self-Reflection
  • Define leadership.
  • Contrast management and leadership.
  • Identify common leadership myths.
  • Explain the ethical standards that leaders must meet.
  • Describe customer-focused vision.
  • Describe how leaders facilitate change.
  • Explain how leaders motivate and empower employees.
  • Describe transformational leadership theory.
  • Describe situational leadership theory.
  • Describe Henry Mintzberg’s managerial roles theory.
  • Describe common manufacturing-specific leadership theories.
Vocabulary Term


A manufacturing management methodology that facilitates the ability to respond quickly to customer needs and market changes while still controlling costs and quality. Agile requires adaptable leadership.


The personality characteristic of charming, compelling, or influencing others. Charisma makes people seem more likeable and therefore sometimes more leader-like, but it is not necessary to lead.


When leaders explain decisions and offer support. Coaching is appropriate when employees have lower competence and high motivation.


An emotional attachment to and involvement with an organization. The level of employee commitment influences leadership styles in situational leadership theory.


Something of value, typically money, received in exchange for work. Bonus compensation may increase employee motivation.


The combination of observable and measurable knowledge, skills, abilities and personal attributes that contribute to enhanced employee performance and organizational success. The level of employee competence influences leadership styles in situational leadership theory.


The ability of a leader to care about those they are leading. With consideration, a leader shows they can understand and work to help solve the issues of those being led.

continuous improvement

A lean manufacturing concept that describes an ongoing effort to make products, services, or processes better. Continuous improvement identifies opportunities for improvement, takes action to achieve improvement, analyzes the results, and implements workable solutions.


Any person or group that receives a product or service from a company. Customers are the central focus of effective leadership.

decisional roles

Roles that involve making choices and commitments that affect an organization. Decisional roles are one of three categories in managerial roles theory, along with interpersonal roles and informational roles.


When leaders take a hands-off approach. Delegating is appropriate when employees have both high competence and high motivation.


A thing able to be provided, especially as a product of a development process. Deliverables can include any products or services exchanged between a company and its customers.

direct reports

Employees who are immediately below a manager or supervisor in the structure of a company. Direct reports may also be referred to as subordinates.


When leaders provide clear instructions and close supervision. Directing is appropriate when employees have lower competence and motivation.


The ability to sense the emotions of other people. Empathy involves imagining what someone else is thinking or feeling.


Giving employees the authority to make decisions regarding their jobs. Empowerment requires that leaders trust and communicate openly with their employees.


Morally good. Ethical leaders avoid activities that cause harm and influence those they lead to do the same.

external customers

A user or purchaser of a compan's products and services that is not part of the company. External customers are the end consumers of goods and services.

hostile work environment

A workplace or jobsite where harassment, discrimination, or other illegal workplace conditions are so severe that it affects employees' well-being or ability to perform their job duties. Hostile work environments are legally defined and covered by the United States Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC).

idealized influence

Leadership behavior that followers seek to emulate with their own actions. Idealized influence is a key element of transformational leadership theory.

individualized consideration

The ability of a leader to pay special attention to the needs and problems of each individual person. Individualized consideration is a key element of transformational leadership theory.

informational roles

Roles that pertain to the gathering, processing, and dissemination of information. Informational roles are one of three categories in managerial roles theory, along with interpersonal roles and decisional roles.

initiating structure

The ability to get people organized, set goals, and make sure that such goals are met. Initiating structure is a key leadership skill.

inspirational motivation

The ability of a leader to provide meaning and context to the work of those under them. Inspirational motivation is a key element of transformational leadership theory.

intellectual stimulation

The ability of a leader to keep those following them thinking about the task at hand, asking questions, and solving problems. Intellectual stimulation is a key element of transformational leadership theory.

internal customers

A user or purchaser of products and services within a company who uses the products or services of another entity within the company. Internal customers include different departments that rely on deliverables from another department to complete their work.

interpersonal roles

Roles that involve interactions with people, both within and outside an organization. Interpersonal roles are one of three categories in managerial roles theory, along with informational roles and decisional roles.


For employees, a feeling that they play a part in the organization as whole. A leader promotes involvement to engage their employees in necessary changes.

knowledge management

Efficient handling of information and resources within an organization. Knowledge management leaders promote a culture of knowledge sharing, encourage employees to document best practices, and facilitate the use of technology to store and access valuable information.


The ability to influence and direct other people toward accomplishing a goal. Effective leadership is essential to the success of any project or business.

lean manufacturing

A methodology that focuses on minimizing waste within manufacturing systems while also maximizing productivity. Lean manufacturing exploits all opportunities to safely eliminate waste.

learning and development

A function within an organization that is responsible for empowering employee growth and developing the knowledge, skills, and capabilities to drive better business performance. Learning and development is an important component of knowledge management.


Administrating the functions of a company or a section of a company. Management primarily concentrates on day-to-day operations and the structural aspects of an organization.

managerial roles theory

A framework that outlines the various roles and responsibilities that managers assume within organizations. Managerial roles theory was developed by Henry Mintzberg, a management theorist.


The desire to achieve specific goals or objectives. Leaders can foster motivation with recognition, supportive work environments, and compensation.


The satisfaction of customer requirements. Quality products conform to specifications, are free of defects, and meet the requirements of their anticipated use.


A set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action. Leaders should share their rationales for changes with their employees.


The process of publicly acknowledging and rewarding an employee's high-quality work. Recognition may increase employee motivation.

situational leadership theory

A set of concepts that proposes that leaders change their leadership styles based on who they are leading. Situational leadership theory requires leaders to be flexible and responsive.

Six Sigma

A management philosophy and process improvement method that uses data to identify problems and point to improvements. Six Sigma's goal is to reduce the number of defects to less than 3.4 defects per million opportunities, which is near perfection.

smart manufacturing

Technologically integrated manufacturing that creates and uses data in real time to address the needs of the factory, supplier, and customer. Smart manufacturing is an advancement of traditional manufacturing automation.


Any person or group that has an interest in an organization. A manufacturer's stakeholders include employees, investors, suppliers, and customers.


Employees who are immediately below a manager or supervisor in the structure of a company. Subordinates may also be referred to as direct reports.


When leaders use a collaborative approach, seeking input and shared decision-making. Supporting is appropriate when employees have high competence and lower motivation.

Total Quality Management

TQM. An administrative approach centered around consistent customer satisfaction and continuous improvement of product quality. Under Total Quality Management, quality becomes the focus of the design, creation, marketing, and maintenance of each product.

transformational leadership theory

A set of concepts that focuses on how leaders can transform their followers positively. Transformational leadership theory involves inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, and individualized consideration.


An ideal or a goal that a leader helps people to achieve. A leader plans based on a vision of desired outcomes for their organization.


Anything that does not add value to a product. The goal of lean manufacturing is to eliminate waste.