Do we manage more than we lead or lead more than we manage? Is there really that much a of a difference between the two to even bother trying to justify one over the other? A half-century ago Peter F. Drucker – who is considered to be the most influential management thinkers of all time – brought the practice of management to the forefront; and other notables have been trying to “one-up” him ever since. The debate will continue long after you’ve read this posting.
I’ve spent 40+ years managing and leading people, and based on my experiences I believe the two: managers and leaders, have more in common with one another – than not. They are mutually inclusive of one another – not mutually exclusive of one another. The lines between the two are definitely blurred – if not disappearing all together.
“Leadership cannot simply delegate management; instead of distinguishing managers from leaders, we should be seeing managers as leaders, and leadership as management practiced well.” – Henry Mintzberg
The role of Manager and Leader is situationally based. You must insure that the day-to-day tasks that need to get done to make the organization work are being done (that’s managing). But you also need to spend some of your time thinking about where the organization needs to go to stay competitive and to maintain or grow your market share (that’s leading). To be successful, Managers and Leaders need to be able to communicate, educate and delegate effectively if they are going to manage the day-to-day operations of the organization, and / or implement the changes necessary to take the organization to where it needs to go. And … in order to do either of those jobs well, they need a variety of skills.
Both Managers and Leaders need to be able to:
- Problem solve and resolve conflict
- Build collaborative teams
- Teach and mentor
- Communicate and listen
- Plan and forward think
- Be patient, empathetic, flexible and open-minded.
Henry Mintzberg is right. Forget about being a leader – practice managing well and people will want to follow you. You may have been given the title of manager, or people may refer to you as their leader, but if no one is buying into what you are saying or choosing to follow you – then it really doesn’t matter what title you have. – Cheers, 🙂
Sir Winston Churchill once said “For myself – I am an optimist. It does not seem to be much use being anything else.” Do you walk around thinking that your cup is half-full or half-empty? I choose to see my cup as half-full. I choose to see the positives in everything that happens to me and around me – because I believe that everything in life is a learning opportunity. Even the negative things that happen to you, and trust me there will be plenty of them, are really positives if you choose to look at them from a different point of view. (It also helps if you believe in fate) I believe everything that happens to you in life – happens for a reason. Whatever happens today is preparing you for what is going to happen tomorrow. (It may not be obvious at the time as you are going through it – but you’ll be able to connect the dots looking back)
I am without a doubt the most optimistic person you’ll ever meet. But besides being an eternal optimist I’m also a realist. (I do have my Dr. Phil moments of clarity) I know that I can’t control everything that goes on around me. I know most outcomes are out of my hands. But I do know that I can control how I choose to react in any given situation. I know that in that space between stimulus and response that Dr. Covey talks about is choice. I know that I must choose to react in a way that is going to get me what I want.
Everything you do is a choice. You may not like the choices that you have to pick from – but it is a choice. You can choose to do nothing – and see what happens – or you can choose to do something and hopefully end up with what you want. You always have a choice. Only you get to decide how you want to react to any given situation. Your attitude is 100% in your control. “If you change the way you look at things. The things you look at will change”.
The next time you are faced with having to make a choice try asking yourself:
- What’s my WIIFM? What do I want the end result to be? (You’ve got to name it to claim it)
- What do I want the other person’s response or reaction to be?
- Is there a lesson here? What am I suppose to be taking away from this so I don’t end up doing it again?
- What do I need to do to get what I want? How am I suppose to react?
Once you decide what you want – the how will reveal itself. So remember – the next time that you have to make a choice – take a deep breath – ask yourself a series of questions for clarity – and then react in a way that will get you what you want. Attitude – Your attitude – will make all the difference in the world. – Cheers, 🙂
Worth Remembering … “Of all the judgements we pass in life, none is more important as the one we pass on ourselves. Nearly every psychological problem – from anxiety and depression to self-sabotage at work or at school is traceable to low self-esteem” – Nathaniel Branden Ph.D.
I’m not going to get too deep here – but your internal dialogue (what you say to yourself) has everything to do with the image you project externally. You are whoever you think you are – it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think you can – or can’t – you’re right. If you think you can’t then you’re beat before you even start. David knew he could defeat Goliath. He had faith in his own ability to pull it off. You need to believe that you have the ability to do what ever you set your mind to. You must learn to trust yourself.
We know adults can learn to “Act” in a different way to get a different result. There are a number of things you can do to build up your self-esteem. Read over this list and decide where you want to start. Remember – You are the boss of you. No one can take away your self-esteem without your permission.
1. – Stop comparing yourself to others: You are unique – truly one of a kind. There is no one else like you. You don’t need to apologize to anyone for being you.
2. – Stop putting yourself down with negative thoughts: I believe everything in life is a positive. Even the negative things that will happen are positive ones because each negative thing that happens gives us an opportunity to grow – to learn from it – to get past it and move on.
3. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people: I can’t stand to be around negative people. They wear me out. I have better – far more important things to do with my time than to spend it listening to people complain about their lot in life. They’d rather complain about it – then to do something about it.
4. – Get involved in the work and activities that inspire you: I love what I do. I can’t see myself doing anything else. Do what makes you happy. Choose a career over a job. A career that you’d do even if you didn’t get paid for doing it.
5. – Stop trying to be perfect: No one is perfect. Let me repeat that – NO ONE is perfect. We all make mistakes now and again. You can’t beat yourself up over it. Your future is not in the past so don’t live there. Forgive yourself and those around you for the mistakes that are made and move on.
Low self-esteem, or low self-image, translates into a lack of confidence in ourselves – which causes us to think negative thoughts – which in turn causes us to hold back and give up way too easily rather than face tough challenges. “Confidence is that feeling by which the mind embarks on a great and honorable course with a sure hope and trust in self” – Cicero. Go ahead – trust yourself – take a leap of faith. If you aren’t making mistakes – you aren’t trying hard enough. Those who make the most mistakes and learn from them – are having the most fun because they are giving themselves permission to grow – to experience all the wonderful things this life has to offer. 🙂 – Cheers,
“Dolphins do it, humpback whales do it, even lions, orcas and wolves do it, and of course humans try to do it”. So says Phil Baguley author of “Teams and Team-Working”. Why teams? Do we really accomplish more? Reduce our costs? Or is it just wishful thinking? Teams and work teams make for a great sound bite – but in the real world – your world – do they produce the kinds of results that you want? Or do they create more problems than they’re worth?
I’ll try not to be too cynical here – but you can’t throw people together – call them a team – and have them perform without teaching them what it means to be part of a team – and how to be a good team player. (It’s a learned behaviour) Making teams work is a challenging and difficult process. Nonetheless, you can increase the likelihood that your team will succeed in accomplishing individual and team goals by carefully managing the setting of team goals and priorities, how work team members are selected, trained and compensated. Team goals may vary depending on the role that teams play in your organization. Problem solving teams, self-managed teams, cross functional teams, virtual teams and work teams. Teams can be brought together, based on each team member’s area of expertise, to work on a specific project and once that project is completed the team is disbanded. (Project Managers work in this type of environment and it takes a special set of skills to manage those teams)
“Coming together is a beginning – Keeping together is progress – Working together is success” – Henry Ford. Managers need to understand that they need their people a great deal more than their people need them. You and I both know that there are a number of ways to accomplish a given task. The more that you allow other team members to be involved in the process, the more likely it is – that they’ll be interested in the results. Do you want to know the secret to increasing your team’s motivation five-fold? Reading Scott Keller’s article is a great place to start. Enjoy the read 🙂
Increase Your Team's Motivation Five-Fold – Scott Keller – Harvard Business Review.