I often get asked “What is the difference between Leadership and Management?”
So lets clarify that one first: Management is the role, leadership is the style. Anyone who has people reporting to them is a manager, and should behave as a leader. As I said in the first session, you can behave as a leader without having any direct reports in the traditional sense.
Before we dig into the common issue and challenges faced by leaders, I would like to have a shot at inspiring you to do things differently. Lets look for a moment at Values.
There are Personal Values, Corporate Values and Work values. We’ll ignore the first two for a while, and look at work values. In workshops with clients I often find that these get confused with personal values.
By work values, it would be more accurate to say “the work we value in our current position”.
The significant thing that should change for people when they move into a leadership position is the Work they Value. In other words, the things they concentrate on doing. You need to recognize that you should now focus on, and therefore value, getting results through others.
This can be a challenge, as most people get promoted into the management role based on their expertise and results as an individual contributor.
It’s hard to let go of your expertise; the very thing that brought your success, and embark on doing the thing you are not familiar with, that of developing others.
Your role as a leader is to develop others. To pass on your expertise and build high performing teams, then to ensure that there is the potential in that team to replace you. Remember, Nature and Organizations abhor vacuum, so you cannot move on unless you can replace yourself.
As a leader you should spend your time in three main areas:
First, leading, coaching and developing your team; Second, connecting your team to the rest of the organization, and third; Doing nothing.
Yes that is what I said. Doing Nothing. The most common issue managers come to me with when I coach them is that of not having enough time. It is often because they are clinging to the individual expertise of their previous role and being the great problem solver for their people.
By “doing nothing” what I really mean is having the time to stop and think. Think strategically. It is what the organization needs and expects from you as a leader. How can you do that, if every minute of your day is occupied with tasks and problem solving?
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