Leaders or managers which are you developing?

Leaders or managers the recurring discussion: I’m often asked to deliver a management training programme and then the conversation is regularly  spattered with references to leadership qualities. Now the two are not mutually exclusive, however they are fundamentally two different beasts

Spotting if you have a leaders or managers culture 

Are your people good at taking ownership? Making decisions for themselves? Providing you with completed work?  Is it the norm that meetings produce effective outcomes , run on time and everyone turns up prepared. If so I’d hazard a guess that’s because you have strong leaders in your organisation. Leaders who are good at providing timely and succinct feedback on performance, who focus on explaining goals, plans and roles. They will be providing focus and sharing visions. These people are creating and building culture, unleashing potential and providing development opportunities. They will be happy to let their team take credit for results and be the first to shine a light on great performance. Tuning into peoples emotions and understanding their motivations will be second nature.  Conversely if you have a business that is organised, has effective co ordination of resources,  everyone knows what they are supposed to do , how to do it and when. Tasks are organised and systems followed. If you can rely on receiving data to support new recommendations and outline trend. Its highly likely that you have great managers in place. Managers who are on top of things and have everything under control.

Does my business need managers or leaders?

Both styles work, both have a place. The trick is for  business owners to understand and  decide  where and if each has a  place in their business. So the key in many businesses is Directors and Managers understanding the art of both management and leadership and where each is best deployed.  It is perfectly ok for good management to be deployed ensuring everything is done right. It’s a mistake though to not ensure its first been identified what are the right things to be doing and that’s where  leadership is essential. It’s a skill to be able to firstly understand the difference between these two styles and secondly to be able to adapt behaviour to deploy the right skills when they are needed. Developing good managers is fairly easy it is about honing a measurable, trainable set of skills. Developing leaders is something else entirely. To survive, grow and thrive businesses need to keep their eyes peeled for their future leaders and when they spot them nurture them, after all they are  the future.

There will be leaders in every organisation, are you looking out for yours? When you find them do you know how to develop them? I am passionate about helping organisations develop their leaders if your are interested in finding out more about how Lifeworks can help please contact me for an informal chat on 07967 226492

Here’s a quick video I think  illustrates some of  my points

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