As a manager, you are responsible for both leading and managing. However, characteristics of leading and managing are often confused with one another, and sometimes are believed to be the same.
Management and leadership are different, and you may excel in one but not the other.
Leading is about strategic planning, setting a direction and vision, aligning people, and motivating and inspiring employees.
Managing is about tactical activities such as planning and budgeting, organizing, staffing, controlling and problem-solving.
Leadership gives an organization its vision and its ability to translate that vision into reality. An effective leader is the person who is able to dream and is also able to transform dreams into significant actions through the management of people. The most successful leaders share these common skills or traits:
Lead by example. Your team will follow your example in how they perform. For example, if you are frequently late to meetings, it sends the message to your team that punctuality is not important; therefore, it is acceptable for your employees to show up late to meetings or even work. Be mindful in all things that you do to demonstrate your expectations.
Build relationships with employees, peers, and managers. Have you ever worked in a company where it seemed that each department was competing against the other and no one shared information? Successful organizations become successful because of constructive relationships that foster growth in everyone. Help your team see the big picture and foster an environment that promotes collaboration.
Promote self-confidence and respect. Have you ever witnessed a colleague, peer, or manager being rebuked by the boss? Public humiliation does not promote improvement and often leads to dissension among the team. Find ways to encourage and congratulate in public, and privately discuss opportunities for performance improvements.
Pay attention to processes. Managers should always look for efficiency in processes and the alignment of people and tasks. Inefficient processes lead to missed goals and employee frustration. Processes that are in control and efficient lead to everyone’s success.
Target behaviors and situations rather than the person. “You” statements can feel accusatory and one-sided instead of collaborative. When you focus on the specific situation or behavior that needs to be addressed, it will feel like you are working together toward the improvement.
If you are new to the manager role, there are tons of resources available. The best advice is to continue learning what it takes to be a good manager and leader and then put those skills into practice. Contact us today to receive a recommended reading list to help improve your management and leadership skills.
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We ignite organizational results with strategies, training, and performance solutions. We exist to help power the transformation that drives your company's growth and success by aligning your goals, processes, and activities to a framework that generates results. If you want to learn how to apply these leadership and management skills in your organization, contact us today. We offer a variety of custom and ready-to-use content, delivered online or through a series of facilitated workshops.