Are you a manager or a leader? Here is the simple question to help you see: Are you trying to move things forward or are you trying to stabilize them?
We need to both manage and lead
Likely you do both, but at different times. The challenge is that we get caught in managing. We spend most of our time, heads down just trying to survive. More often and we need to manage less and lead more. Here are the differences and 3 strategies to help you lean to leading your team more often.
Manage try to steady things
If, at that moment, you are trying to stabilize things, keep them in line, and follow procedures, then you are managing.
Here is what managing looks like:
When you wear the manager’s hat, you are;
Managers get stuff done
Managers are maintaining order and consistency. They are keeping things status quo. In essence, they are getting the work done.
Leaders are moving things forward
Shifting into leadership mode means that instead maintaining status quo, you’re now looking to challenge the status quo. You are looking to get out of the steady, sure place and find more movement forward. Leaders focus on change, movement, and growth.
This is what leadership looks like
Putting on your leadership hat has you do these activities:
Leaders develop others and the company
Leaders motivate, inspire, and energized team members to grow, develop to be all they can be. In doing so, this also creates the space for the company to be all it can be. Leaders help individuals and team to reach their full potential.
We are better at one or the other role usually
Most of us find it easier to do one or the other of these roles. We need to both manage and to lead so that we can effectively run an organization. Is important to get clear on the distinction of the difference between a leader and manager and know when we need to shift between the two.
Only leading or managing gets you into trouble
When we sit on one side of the other too long, it creates a void. Yes, we need to stabilize for a moment, but we also need to keep moving. Staying still too long makes us stagnant. On the other hand always racing forward can lead to no foundation with which build on. Only focusing on the future can create chaos and essentially you spin out of control.
Leaders need to know how to shift back-and-forth
Leaders need to switch back and forth from their manager hat to their leadership hat. Your strength may be in seeing the future potential of an employee, and so you focus on that during their performance review. You talk to them about their goals and help them decide what training they need to take over the next year. To shift, you may also need to have a conversation with them about them being late with paperwork. That conversation manages the day-to-day challenges and serves to stabilize their work and how that affects the rest of the team.
Don’t gets stuck in managing
I have noticed that many of us, regardless of whether it is our strength or not, tend to focus on getting stuff done in the here and now. That work is what is in front of us. It is the squeaky wheel demanding our attention. On the surface level, it appears to be what we are supposed to be doing. But if we stay only here, we are missing a much bigger picture that also needs to attention.
Add more leading time
I challenge you to incorporate more leading if your day-to-day work. When you can set your sights farther down the road, you can look up and gain perspective.
Here are three ways you can be a leader on a day-to-day basis
Practice leading more often
When you get clearer on demonstrating leadership more often, you will develop your team to be stronger, more independent and more engaged. In doing so, you will find your organization more cohesive and will advance quicker towards the goals set out in your visioning processes. Learn to shift back and forth between managing and leading, but heighten your desire to lead more often.
What strategy will you apply in your role as leader and what do you want to achieve by doing that?
My book is out!