Leader or Manager – which one are you?

Boss vs Leader

Lead don’t Boss your company

What sets apart  managers from leaders? Is there a difference between them?  We have looked at this subject before on the Ember Carriers blog.  And we are visiting the topic again because I get this question a lot with my clients or in discussions with company CEO’s.

I have found over the past few years running my own consulting practice that just because you are a good manager does not mean you will make a great leader. When I conduct our “Leaders vs. Managers” workshop this concept can sound weird at first to participants.  However, after some discussion, people start to understand that the two concepts are not mutually exclusive or inclusive to each other.

I have been a big believer in differentiating between managing a group of people and leading a group of people or even a company, ever since the earliest days of my career. The best leaders are the ones who are always looking to move the business they run onto the next stage of its development.  Being a good manager is a skill that has only been developed over the last 100 years and is acquired with experience (lots of experience). Knowing how to deal with your workforce on an individual and collective basis is a vital part of any well run organisation or business.

The key ingredients of any successful business are the people who work for it. Get the right mixture of people working for you and you will be well on the road to success. Having the right leadership team in place is vital if you want to ensure that your workforce is going to operate to its full potential.

But being a great leader involves a completely different set of skills and many cases more art than science. Businesses often make the mistake of failing to differentiate between the two concepts believing their good managers can be good leaders in their absence. When I evaluate someone in a leadership role for one of my clients, I am looking for a very specific set of qualities. I am looking for people who have passion, commitment, conviction and most important of all – vision.

The need for a strong leadership team should never be underestimated, it’s that team that will really make the difference on every level. People like to know that the company they are working for has a clear sense of direction and purpose.

Generally speaking if you want commitment from your employees then you have to demonstrate to them that the executive team share that commitment.  The commitment that employees make to the company they work for should never be underestimated or undervalued. That is why identifying the right caliber of people to fill leadership roles is so important.

Too often companies, particularly those run by the company’s founders, do not think about succession planning until it is too late. Not planning properly for the future can be a fatal mistake, as a company without a proper leadership team in place is always going to fail.

The trick to having a successful succession strategy in place is to park your ego and look at the situation in a logical way. Not everyone can be around forever, and if truth be told, often a company can benefit from having a fresh injection of talent and ideas right at the very top.

I would say it is vital to identify people who are going to lead a company forward rather than just manage the business. That is why it is so important to differentiate between management and leadership.

Once you have done that, the next thing to do is place your trust in the new leadership team, take a step back and let them get on with the job.Call a senior consultant with Ember Carriers at (513) 984-9333 for a free strategy session consultation to learn how you can fuel your workplace.

Web: www.embercarriers.com|Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmberCarriers

Twitter: www.twitter.com/embercarriers|LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mhladio



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