I am often asked what makes the difference between a successful, growing, thriving business and one that is stagnant, tired, and slow to change. Does the difference lie in their technology, people, or marketing? These are all likely contributors, but I can sum up the principle source of the difference in one word: leadership.
There is a lack of great leadership in many businesses. Often the leader, by title or name, wears many hats, and may not have the time or resources to focus on his or her personal development. Without a true example of what one looks like, the leader tends to work long, hard hours, directly in the business, doing his or her best to grow and hoping others will mimic those actions.
So, how do you become a great leader?
The first hurdle involves gaining a clear understanding of the difference between management and leadership. To do this you must:
- Identify the skills you naturally possess
- Assess your comfort zones
- Target the areas you need to improve to become a more effective leader and/or manager
- Self-reflect on the differences between management and leadership, and decide which area you need to improve in
What’s the difference?
Management is about planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and measuring. Those tasks might be creating the internal system and processes, written plans, quota setting, measuring and monitoring performance, giving feedback, and holding people accountable.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
— Peter F Drucker
Leadership is the ability to translate vision into reality. A leader guides through honesty, thinking strategically, and communicating effectively. And he or she is inspiring, motivating, yet empathetic, humble, and caring.
I believe that everyone benefits from the practice of reviewing the fundamentals of management vs. leadership. A great description of the difference is:
Managers manage “things,” and Leaders lead “people.”
Many of you might be thinking, “I do both.” If you manage people and processes, you are a manager and a leader and, therefore, have a very important job!
Krista Moore, president of K.Coaching, Inc., an executive coaching and consulting practice that helps hundreds of companies maximize their full potential through enhancing their sales strategies, sales processes and sales leadership.