Making the Leap from Managing to Leading

Managing and Leading

Making the Leap from Managing to LeadingTwo well-known authorities on Leadership make the following distinctions between Managing and Leading:

Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things. Peter Drucker

As these quotes illustrate, management is about stability (“efficiency” and “doing things right”) while leadership is about change (“leaning against the right wall” and “doing the right things”).

Leaders THINK in terms of Followers while Managers THINK in terms of Subordinates:

Management
(subordinates)
Leadership
(followers)
– Authoritarian – Charismatic
-Transactional – Transformational
– Work-focused – People-focused
– Status Quo – Entrepreneurial
– Control – Passion
– Objectives – Vision
– Being right – What is right
– Existing roads – New roads

Leaders push for change while Managers seek stability and efficiency:

Management
(stability)
Leadership
(change)
– Organizing – Envisioning
-Structure – Listening
– Scheduling – Teambuilding
– Timelines – Developing
– Standards – Risk Taking
– QC – Empowering
– Monitoring – Innovation
– Budgeting – Creativity
– Tasks – Collaboration

Another renowned expert on management and leadership, Warren Bennis, in his book “On Becoming a Leader“, describes the differences this way:

  • The manager administers; the leader innovates.
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops.
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
  • The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
  • The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
  • The manager imitates; the leader originates.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

To bridge the gap from Manager to Leader, try at least one of these techniques daily:

  1. Telling people what to do is not inspirational (as is micromanaging). Empower your employees to solve problems and take their (and the department’s) performance to the next level in achieving Company goals and objectives.
  2. Although adding one more item to your list may seem impossible, you need to give yourself time to think strategically. Set aside time daily (or at a minimum, weekly) to proactively plan for the long-term and identify potential challenges you may encounter.
  3. Set aside time monthly to develop your employees – make it about them and how you can help them achieve their personal goals. Taking an interest in their development creates passion and inspires others to achieve their goals.
  4. Encourage risk-taking and don’t slaughter your employees when ideas fail. Leaders take risks and then accept the blame when/if problems occur. Conversely, Leaders publicly tout their employees’ accomplishments.
  5. Ignite everyone’s creativity by hosting monthly brainstorming sessions with your employees and encourage them to think outside the box.
  6. Seek training on public speaking or presentation skills if it’s a weakness. Employees are more apt to follow someone who is charismatic and persuasive. Note, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be louder, it’s about being influential with people.

Remember, leaders:

….LISTEN more than they TALK.
….RESPECT and VALUE others’ input.
….are CLEAR in their expectations when someone IS and IS NOT meeting them.
….are CONFIDENT and ENGAGING when they speak.
….are PASSIONATE about the Company and LEADING the Company to achieve its goals.
….FOCUS on opportunities for employees and LEARN from failures.
….understand that actions DO speak louder than words.

Make no mistake, both managers and leaders are needed in every company. The key is you don’t want to miss the opportunity to lead because you’re not prepared or don’t know how. Commit now to download our Action Planning Worksheet to assist you in making the transition from Manager to Leader.

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