Leaders and managers are different
“The core activities of a manager and a leader are simply different…If companies confuse the two roles by expecting every manager to be a leader, or if they define “leaders” as simply a more advanced form of “manager,” …gradually the company will fall apart.”
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
The Impact of Leaders
“By definition, a leader has a significant impact on the thinking, behavior, and the performance of the people around him or her. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, or directly or indirectly, leaders motivate or drive people to behave in certain ways. This impact, either positive or negative, is typically sufficiently strong to be discernable and measurable.”
Leaders have a different scope of responsibility from managers. Unfortunately, within small business, the roles are necessarily intermixed. A business owner must simultaneously be leader, manager, and worker. Naturally, we will all migrate to where we feel most comfortable and for many owners and their managers that is the role of worker.
In my experience, the most common way that owners and managers feel they earn respect is by “being in the trenches.” And it has become an accepted by the profession that a leader is someone who works alongside staff hourly and daily but also tells them what to do. As a result, the prevailing leadership styles within the profession are:
- “Command-and-Control”: Where no one does anything without permission and will often wait for instructions before acting…A Passive Culture
- “Laissez-Faire”: Where everyone does what they think is best by their own definition and no one takes responsibility…An Aggressive Culture
After almost 40 years consulting in funeral service I have encountered less than ten constructive leaders. Needless to say, these are among the most admired organizations and, certainly, the most effective in terms of repeat customers and profitability.
While Small business owners commonly have little choice but to find a way to work on their business while they work in it, a Leadership / Impact Assessment will give you personal insights into how you can become significantly more effective.
- Involves setting the direction and vision of the organization
- Articulating that direction and vision in ways that engage and encourage staff to strive for achievement
- Defining the strategies that will take the company to its goals
- Implementing strategies
- Motivating others in a unified effort
- Turning the vision into recognizable achievement
- Organizing and guiding staff efforts
- Developing the gifts and talents of their staff.