Does your business need leadership or management? The answer is both. Have you ever heard the expression “too many generals and not enough soldiers”? Well it works both ways. Too many soldiers without a strong general will surely find themselves fighting the wrong battles.
Experience has shown us that businesses with too many leaders inevitably fail from their inability to manage and implement day-to-day business issues. Likewise companies with excellent managers fail because they didn’t innovate, motivate change or watch for strategic threats.
It’s important to develop managers that can lead and leaders that can manage. So what’s the difference?
Think of it like this: you want to manage things and lead people. For example, a business manage costs, inventory, cash flow, processes, information systems, facilities and operations. When it comes to leadership, a great business leads the team, drives the company vision, guides team member and customer perceptions, and ultimately generates a positive and productive corporate mindset and culture.
As the business owner you’re responsible for leading your business to success and getting your people excited about your vision.
Too often leadership is seen as defining a step-by-step business strategy and expecting people to follow the steps or suffer the consequences.
Coming up with a strategy and relying on your position as business owner is not enough. This model fails you, your team and your business. People will learn to do just what they have to so that they can meet expectations and not lose their job.
True leadership is the art of understanding and rewarding your team’s and your customers’ needs so that they’re motivated to make your business a success.
Imagine if Bill Gates’s workday looked like this: arrive at 8am, walk into Microsoft and answer phone in lobby, interview every candidate for every position available, write the copy for website, answer all customer calls, develop code for Windows, design product packaging, write product documentation and empty all the trash cans. By noon, he would be exhausted and in 6 months there would be no Microsoft. Too often small business owners take it upon themselves to do all of this and their business suffers as a result.
Your role as the business owner is to keep your eyes constantly toward the direction you want your business to go. You are the leader. To make your vision a reality you have to win your employees and customers over so they can make it happen.
Too often small businesses suffer from leaders who are too overly tied up in the day-to-day running of the business.
Owners have their eyes too focused on accounts receivables, purchase orders and time cards and become blinded to impending competition, threats to their businesses and the potential for growth.
It’s important to seek out qualified and competent people who can manage the day-to-day tasks and operations so that you can look up, set your sight on what you want and move your organisation in that direction.