Leading vs Managing

By Michael Royal, BIR Solutions

Understand the difference between what it is to lead and what it is to manage

Do you lead or manage? This is the question you often hear today in seminars. If you believed the hype, you would think all you need to do is lead. Actually, it is not a choice. You need to do both.

We all need to manage, both ourselves as well as others, but we should all lead. The tough thing most of us have trouble with is to figure out how to lead and when to manage.

Proposition: Leaders create culture which creates performance. Managers create certainty and consistency in performance and direction.

Solution: Understand what it is to lead and what it is to manage.

Putting this solution into practice:

# 1 Create a culture in your business of treating your greatest cost (your employees) as your greatest asset.

Culture is developed by leaders who lead by example. That means you.

# 2 Leading means doing what you expect others to do.

If you don’t do it, don’t expect those who work for you to do it – no matter how important you tell them it is.

# 3 Leading means speaking and acting consistently.

Mixed messages are quickly picked up by your employees – and guess what, they will do what you do, not what you say you do.

# 4 Leading means showing your employees what you want them to do.

Some call this training, some call it coaching or mentoring. It doesn’t matter what you call it – just show them. This means teaching your employees using all 3 methods of learning (as we all learn differently). Written, Verbal and Show & Tell are the three styles of learning. Maximise the results by using all three styles.

# 5 Leading means obtaining feedback. Regularly.

Always ask “What are we doing right?”, “What can we do better?”

# 6 Leadership means reviewing whether your teaching has been implemented.

Teaching without reviewing misses the most important part – “Have they heard and understood what I was trying to teach them?”.

# 7 Leadership means enabling your team.

“How can I help you achieve this goal?”

# 8 Management means measuring past performance.

This means measuring ‘in the norm’ and ‘out of the norm’ or ‘by exception’. Use what gives you the best indicator of current performance.

# 9 Management means measuring future expected performance.

This means measuring trends and directions in which the business is heading.

# 10 Management means monitoring performance.

To be successful, monitoring must involve communication so your team understands what is important to you and why.

# 11 Management means providing feedback.

Use the KSS principle. K for Keep doing what is helping you achieve success. S for Stop doing what is not helping you achieve success. S for Start doing what is going to help you achieve success.

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