Leader-ship and Manage-ment
Are you aware of the difference between leadership and management?
Do you know when to lead and when to manage?
Can you identify when these two roles are inappropriately utilized or referenced?
This month we have been deeply involved with successful leadership and all sorts of interesting facts about leader-ship. This weekend someone shared with me their experience with leadership. I’d like to share as it reveals more of what leadership is and isn’t.
Over-simplified Leader-ship and Manage-ment Definitions and Differences:
Over-simplified Leadership Definition: When a person has other people following them.
Over-simplified Management Definition: When a person controls a person/s, process/es, or thing/s.
Again, an over-simplified way to know the difference is: one is about changing direction (leadership) and the other is about controlling/managing all the aspects (management) to assure the direction is as the leader envisions it.
Often times leadership is referred to as strategic and management is referred to as tactical; however, it may be more complex than this.
When to Lead or Manage: Which one is appropriate?
The person I referred to earlier was referencing the “poor leadership” within their Fortune 500 company. As I listened I realized this person, who has been in functioning in corporate roles for more than 20 years has been experiencing poor management, and was expressing it as ineffective leadership. So after I listened and did an inquiry to understand the situation, I revealed the difference between leadership and management. Then there was an awareness that just because people may have a greater seniority than oneself, they may not necessarily be leaders! Truthfully, they are simply more senior level managers.
Managers may or may not be leaders; however, most leaders have managed at some point throughout their career. Think of leaders as the Generals in the military. They hold the vision of what needs to be accomplished and point in a particular direction – this would be a leader-ship role. Then the lower ranking officers would put together their plan on how to accomplish the General’s objective. Then the officers would share this with the sergeants, who would apply tactics (take actions) to make the vision become a reality.
Admittedly, at each level there are leaders – even at the tactical levels. Leaders tend to pull from their wisdom (usually acquired when they were managers) to be able to know what appears best for the organization. Yet, sometimes leaders still take their followers down the wrong path. Leaders are not infallible! Unfortunately, far too it is perceived that Executives should never be wrong…. really?!? How is this even realistic?
Crazed Leader-ship and Manage-ment:
I recently heard from an employee from an industry leading organization. This person told me that the tactical level workers were told that a project had to be finished by X date or the VP/Executive wouldn’t get their bonus. I just about fell over in astonishment that this was being stated (even if it were truthful), much less by one of the “better employers” in the country!!!
This is just unacceptable management. Yes, this is poor management. No one should ever know who has a bonus tied to a program or who doesn’t! Further, it shouldn’t be about lining someone’s pocket if a project is completed. The focus should be on the project being completed and everyone being proud of producing a great product. Further, if you would state something as insane as this, then it would be best to have a bonus for each person who contributes to the project’s completion. Oh, there are so many more things I could say about how this isn’t appropriate at all; however, I will end with one: for the past 15-20 years the research has validated that people are minimally to not all all financially motivated in regards to being more productive. Think about it, wouldn’t you rather have some time off get $5-10 more a week?
The above organization doesn’t appear to be conscientious of how their pay structure or management style is negatively impacting their productivity level, which in turn impacts profit – yikes! Curious how you can be a more conscientious leader or manager? (Click here to learn more about leader-ship capabilities and if you have the right stuff to be a conscientious leader.)
Graceful learning occurs when leaders are willing to follow. (Click on this sentence to read more about Lessons Learned from Following.)
Your Business Rescue Coach wants to know: What are you noticing regarding the behaviors and leaders? Share in the comment sections so we can learn from each others 🙂
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