You can arrange these two leadership functions — managing things and leading people — on a matrix (see illustration).
Strong Manager, Weak Leader. This person prepares excellent plans, but nothing gets done. At one company, managers wrote business plan after business plan and made projection after projection. When the company missed a plan, the CEO just developed another one. Nothing was implemented on time or to budget. People felt no responsibility and little got accomplished.
Weak Manager, Strong Leader. This leader is likely to take his organization right over a cliff as he runs out of resources, breaks laws, or attempts the clearly impossible. One of the strongest leaders I ever knew was good on everything except sticking to the law. Unfortunately, people would follow him blindly. The company was performing very well, but had set targets too high. The leader gave people the sense that he didn’t care how they met the targets. They bent the accounting rules, and he ignored that. Eventually, the management team was censured and fired, and the company lost major market value.
Weak Manager, Weak Leader. This is the ineffective CEO who neither plans well nor accomplishes important goals. He does not usually last long, or the company will stagnate or fail.
Strong Manager, Strong Leader. This is the CEO who does most things right. She sees that the necessary things are scheduled and happen on time, on budget, and to acceptable quality standards. She sees that the right people are in place, are stimulated to exceptional performance, and are handled promptly as needed if they underperform.
A manager should strive to become an inspiration to the rest of the employees. Employees will follow a manager because the manager is the boss. However, a manager that is an inspiration means that employees follow that person because they believe in what the manager is doing and they are trying to help the company achieve its goals. Finding ways to inspire employees means coaching them and motivating them to succeed as integral parts of the company.
Leading Affects Morale
The way a manager leads greatly affects employee morale within the department and company as a whole. Managers should create a climate that encourages new ideas and employee input. The more the employees feel that they have a say in the company, the more they will be willing to share ideas and attempt to find better ways to improve processes. For example, a good manager may reward employees with monetary or benefit incentives if they can increase output of a product. Another idea is a treasure box of goodies. Managers can set a goal early in the week and employees who meet the goal by the end of the week are allowed to take a prize from the treasure box.
Leading is Key to Effective Communication
For a manager to be an effective leader, he or she must also be an effective communicator. A manager that shares information and lets employees know the latest news in the company is someone that is deemed trustworthy by his or her employees. Employees feel little loyalty or trust towards a manager who does not readily give out information.
Leading Effectively Contributes More to the Bottom Line
An effective leader inspires employees, which allows those employees to feel like they are making a meaningful contribution to the company. Satisfied employees generally work harder and take more ownership in their job positions. This can mean happy customers and a higher level of customer service.
Great leaders in an organization affect the employees they supervise, but they also inspire those in other parts of the company. Effective leadership is infectious and should be spread to as many areas of the organization as possible; doing this will result in a highly-coordinated effort to please both customers and employees.
If you are committed to becoming a Leader, or in the process of developing your leadership skills, you have to stop the I, I, I speech.
Let me say this in the simplest way possible… (pausing for suspense purpose)… Leadership isn’t about you!
Matter of fact, Leadership is about developing people around you, help them overcome their self imposed boundaries and stand by their side as they step out of their comfort zone.
With that said, if you are willing to be the catalyst in the growth of people around you, then you’ll have to adequate your speech as well as your attitude to serve that intent.
help them realize where they are – coaching would be the best method. The purpose is to make them realize what their current situation is, are they living up to their potential? Have they achieved their goals? Are they living the life they planned?
point out the abilities and potential you see in them – most people stop evolving or investing in their own growth because they stop believing in themselves, because they lose vision or because they become conformed with their situation. They are prisoners of their comfort zone, and sometimes all it takes to get them back on track, all it takes to set them free is to let them see themselves through the eyes of someone else, through eyes that see them as they once saw themselves: full of potential, a diamond in the rough.
and then gently and patiently build a vision – you’re helping them getting from point “a”… out of point “a”! It’s not up to you to tell if it’s point “b”, “c”, “d” or “e”! They’ll be the ones setting the goals, otherwise they won’t buy in to them, you just have to help them realize that they can go a long way if they just dare take the first step.
Now, considering that the process is about them, how could it help if your speech was a I, I, I speech?
How would you be helping by saying “I would do this”, “I did this and that”, “I could”, “I am”, “I used to”. Wouldn’t that transmit the idea that people should be like you? Wouldn’t that be stilling the stage, and make leadership about you instead of the person you’re talking to? What if the person you’re trying to help doesn’t share your ideals or your way of living? Don’t you think this kind of speech would turn away people instead of getting them involved in the coaching session?
You have to put your ego aside so there is plenty of room for others to grow! And who knows, maybe, just maybe, without so much I, I, I, there is much more You, You, You…
It’s a common mistake, for employees, to assume that a person in a management position is a Leader. A not so common mistake is for the manager to assume that he is a Leader just for being on top of the reporting structure. Most managers I know are conscious of their skills, and if they know they aren’t specially gifted to lead, they leave it to other staff members or they hire the right people for that particular job.
But unfortunately, not all managers grasp the importance of leadership in the workplace and therefore some decide to play the occasional leader. It’s like a moment of inspiration, and before anyone can stop them… BAM!!! Ladies and Gentleman, brace yourselves, it’s The Amazing Leadership Magician!
From that moment on all you see is an illusion! They’ll say they’re leading, but you won’t see it. They’ll trick you into believing that they care, when in fact they don’t. They’ll promise you an auspicious future, but they’ll make it disappear. They’ll listen to your complaints and suggestions, not to see them through but to build their illusion on them.
And then, in a heartbeat, it’s over! The magic disappears. They get bored, they forget why they even tried, and they realize that they don’t have the time to build on that so-called “Leadership”. And why would they? After all they’re the Managers, they can boss everybody around! Why would they have the need to create culture, or develop the employees? Why? When employees well know that they better do as the Manager say, or else… And the realization of this power is enough to boost their egos, and so… the magician is subdued.
The apparition of the Leadership Magician is not without consequence. Soon after de disappearance, the employees see through the illusions, and the realization of that is disappointing and hurtful in many circumstances. Most of the times employee motivation and productivity is compromised.
And then it’s up to the real leaders, within the ranks, to (re)start their work from scratch. They have to once again build employee morale, to get them involved and to implement culture in the workplace. And they have to do it fast, because if the Manager senses that morale is low with the employees they’ll be the ones suffering the consequences…
And without even realizing it, this Magicians are standing in the way of growing their employees as well as their company, as they are constantly throwing them back to the starting point, limiting their evolution.
But you never know when they’ll feel inspired again and compelled to solve those issues, and then it’s… Ladies and Gentleman, The Leadership Magician is back!…