Solid management is essential for any organization with a desire for stability. Authentic Leadership is even more essential for any organization hoping to grow.
That’s one of the key differences between managing and leading. You can manage an organization to stay the course. You can hold it steady with basic management principles and hope your competitors are satisfied with only managing their organization too.
But if you want to grow your organization or stay ahead of your competition then you’re going to need to lead the people who make up your organization.
Managing is all about the policies and procedures of today. Leading is about the vision and strategies of tomorrow. Policies and procedures matter. They provide the stability that organizations need to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Without those policies and procedures chaos ensues and productivity stops. That’s why great management is every bit as vital as great leadership.
Leaders are responsible to shape, share and sell their vision to the people they lead. Asking someone to follow you and then not giving them any idea of where they are following you to does not work. A leader’s vision should provide a guidepost for decision making. When faced with a decision ask if whatever you’re deciding will move you in the direction of your vision. If the answer is no then your decision is made.
Leaders also determine the strategies used to achieve the goals required to make the vision a reality. The management team will implement the tactics required to achieve the goals but absent those goals there are no tactics that will result in long-term success. That’s why great leadership is every bit as vital as great management.
Now I need to ask the obvious question. Do the people you are supposed to be leading know where you’re going? Have you shared your vision with them and showed them where they fit in the vision? Do you even have a vision? Does that vision include the people who are responsible for the day-to day success of your organization?
If your answers are anything other than a very strong YES then you may be doing far more managing than leading. If that’s the case you’ve just discovered why your organization is struggling to grow.
Provide at least the same level of leadership as you do management and you’ll quickly notice the difference in your people, their productivity and the strength of your entire organization.