Be a Manager and a Leader

Managing and leading may seem to be opposing activities if you consider that business growth and change challenges the established systems.

Every business owner should be both a manager and a leader.

Managing is related to supervising and controlling business operations. All business models require systems, which are standardized ways to complete activities such as production, marketing, sales, and so forth.  

Good managers make sure the organization doesn`t become chaotic. They provide clear methods and procedures to avoid confusion and help everyone get the job done as efficiently as possible.  

Leading means coping with change. As the world changes, systems become outdated or obsolete which can hold the business back from improving performance.

Good leaders are positive, and their energy contagious; they promote a safe space for learning and engage the team to always develop better ways to complete their jobs.

Managing and leading may even seem to be opposing activities if you consider that every change challenges the established systems.

Becoming both a leader and a manager requires dealing with these contradictions, so here are a few tips for your inner manager and for your inner leader:

Tips for your inner manager

  • Controlling costs is important but so is investing in business development and growth.
  • Rules and procedures shouldn’t get in the way of creative ideas and actions.
  • Avoid micromanaging; Find new ways to motivate your team.
  • Make decisions objectively but then conquer both the minds and the hearts of your followers.

Tips for your inner leader

  • Change is a matter of survival and growth but excessive changes can lead to waste, confusion and chaos.
  • There is a fine line between vision and delusion. Make sure you set clear goals and provide guidance to your team.
  • To consolidate the changes that were successful, develop new systems to help your team learn the new desired behavior.
  • Don’t let your intrinsic motivation get in the way of objective analysis.

Leadership and management are different but complementary skills. By developing both, you will be able to benefit from having strong systems and from being able to change those systems when needed.

Need a little more management or leadership guidance? We’re here for you! Please reach out to us with your questions:

Recommended reading

Kotter, J. P., 2001. What Leaders Really Do. Harvard Business Review, December, pp. 3-12.

Quinn, R. E., 2015. The Positive Organization: Breaking Free from Conventional Cultures, Constraints, and Beliefs. Oakland: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc..

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