Managing People:
How the Roles of Management vs Leadership Differ

While there is a distinction between management vs leadership, the two roles are obviously closely connected and business owners need to be able to do both. One requires you to be responsible for creating your businesses vision and the other is about turning it into reality. 

Business Coaching Insight:

Businesses will not succeed without good management

The basic differences between the two are:

Leadership is about creating a vision and goals and inspiring a team towards achieving that vision. 

Management involves all of the 'hands-on' tasks that are involved in implementing the vision into reality.

Management therefore requires activities such as planning, prioritizing, controlling, monitoring, assessing, evaluating etc.   

The single biggest factor that effective management requires is discipline. In businesses, someone has to be responsible for making sure all parts of the business work together towards delivering a product or service to their customers by a deadline.

It is usually the business owner who does this in small businesses but if this doesn't play to your strengths, let someone else do it while you focus on doing what you're best at and what the business needs from you.

It is more important to have the best qualified person in this role than the 'boss'. 

What it takes to be a good manager

The hands-on, disciplined nature of management vs leadership does not always suit entrepreneurs; they often find the big picture ideas, vision and strategies of leadership more appealing.

However, good management is essential in businesses.

In many ways management feeds into leadership so if your management skills are under par it can adversely affect how people perceive you as a leader. 

So what does it take to be a good business manager?

There are a number of factors that can be identified that enable someone to be a successful and effective manager:

  • Being organized
  • Anticipating and planning for future workflows (and future increases or dips in revenue)
  • Dealing with and eliminating problems immediately 
  • Communicating clearly what you want and expect from people
  • Staying in regular communication with all team members
  • Scheduling and keeping to team status meetings every week
  • Creating a system to record who's doing what and by when to track progress and keep people accountable
  • Making decisions and taking action quickly
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Adjusting systems and processes to optimize what the business does
  • Making sure the team have adequate resources and back-up

All of these factors require discipline and a determination to maintain high standards. Complacency is the enemy of good management and as soon as you take your eye of the ball it doesn't take too long before things start to unravel.

Business Coaching Questions:

  • Have you hired the best people for your business?
  • Have you made yourself and your business easy to work for?
  • In what ways could you help your employees perform better?

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