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Lead People, Manage Processes – Especially in Challenging Times

– by Monte M. Wyatt, CEO and Organizational & Executive Development Facilitator at AddingZEROS

Leadership and management are terms frequently interchanged within the workplace. Both concepts are interconnected, but they do not mean the same thing. By understanding the differences between them, you will learn the importance of leadership in management and how leadership development will allow you to be a better manager overall.

“Leadership is not about position. It’s about action.” – Pulling Profits out of a Hat

As a business executive, management is handed to you along with your job title. A manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. Leadership, however, is a behaviour in how we inspire, influence, and treat others. You manage processes; you lead people.

In business, we need both leaders and managers:

“Leadership creates passionate and focused people, management creates competent and productive team members.” – Pulling Profits out of a Hat

Within a business, we need both leaders and managers. Leaders inspire people to take action. Managers hold people accountable for those actions.

Anyone in the organization has the potential to become a leader, but managers must be leaders. A leader who cannot manage has a vision of where they want to go but no idea on how to get there. A manager who cannot lead is not able to build trust and create engagement within an organization to get to where they need to go.

To better understand the differences between management and leadership, think about the daily routines of the managers and leaders in your organization. Managers facilitate 1-on-1’s with their direct reports, creating clear expectations and holding their team accountable for meeting them. Managers also hold team meetings for direction and communication, revisiting and tracking progress towards quarterly goals. Lastly, a manager reviews the actions and results of each individual and team to determine their performance.

A leader’s daily routine is different – they focus on the big picture of the company, helping to inspire others through support and consistency. A leader shows appreciation to team members, gives awards and accolades when deserved. A leader also focuses on the personal development of each individual and team, working to foster the communication and feedback needed to make the organization stronger.

Behind every innovative company lies a charismatic leader who pushes and inspires his or her employees to be the best. As Steve Jobs was to Apple and Jack Welch to GE, great CEOs are known for more than their management skills. They offer a different approach outside the norm and motivate their followers to execute their vision to reach their business goals.

Executive leaders live, train, and support a culture in their organizations that encourages everyone to be fully engaged in their work and the company. Employees are given recognition and are shown appreciation. By focusing on employees as well as the overall big picture, executive leaders help their people play to their strengths to reach their organizational goals.

Keys for leadership development:

As a manager, are you a leader? Leadership can be learned, and you should continue to grow as a leader through education and coaching. As an executive, you spend a lot of time and valuable resources training your staff on how to be managers. It is important to also teach executives how to be leaders.

All growth companies must be training and development companies. Every person in your organization should have a personal development plan, including yourself!