Leadership and management, management and leadership; some individuals see these terms as interchangeable synonyms. However, there are several important differences.
First, let’s differentiate between a manager and a leader. Managers are to exercise executive, administrative and supervisory direction of a team, group or organization. A leader, on the other hand, is future-focused and works to influence or guide a group of individuals to achieve a common goal through inspiration rather than task completion.
So what are the key differences, and what skills and traits are necessary to succeed as a manager and as a leader? A manager generally receives his/her authority based on his/her role. A leader’s authority is innate in his/her approach. A common expression also tells us that leadership is doing the right thing, while management is doing things right.
Jerry L. Mills, founder of B2B CFO, says that every organization has three types of employees: finders, minders and grinders.
The Finder: The entrepreneur, the visionary, the leader, the idea generator and the catalyst for future change — finders work in the future.
The Minder: The administrative, accounting and operational staff of the company — minders are historians; they work in the past.
The Grinder: The people who do the physical work of the company, grinders may be construction workers out in the field or telemarketers at a desk. Grinders work for today and are not concerned about the future or the past.
When organizations work in tandem allowing each employee to both know and execute his/her role, things run smoothly.
As a business owner, at times I’ve made the mistake of trying to be everything to everyone. I have learned to recognize in others and within myself the traits most important to posses in order to maintain a clear vision. I have also learned what traits I need as a manager to help our business succeed. These traits are cross disciplinary and can be applied whether you work in plumbing, finance or the arts.
Business Leaders Skills
Lead by example
Pitch in wherever needed. A leader cannot be afraid to get his/her hands dirty. When your employees are in the trenches, you’re in the trenches.
Your leader must believe in what he/she is doing as well as the work the company, organization or team is engaged in. This is not an instance where faking it until you make it will work.
Without clear organization, your company will be chasing its own tail and wasting valuable time.
The leader cannot do or be everything to everyone. Successful delegation includes giving ownership of the work their assigned.
Employees, or grinders, need to know their work is important. Be precise, specific and concise.
Business Management Skills
Great customer service skills
No matter the business, no matter the location, no matter the service, a manager cannot succeed without being service-minded.
Self-motivation and dependability
Managers must be capable of doing their job without being micromanaged. They must be committed to putting their all into the job every day. Managers need to be capable of making even the most challenging of circumstances a success.
Integrity and trustworthiness
By hiring someone that you can trust, you’ll reduce your own stress levels. The business owner will be able to place his/her focus on growing the business.
Be a team player
Managers must be committed to their team. A manager is the liaison who has to be able to work well and communicate with both employees and executives.
Conflict resolution abilities
Serving as liaison allows the manager to be in the know from both ends. They need to be able to see conflicts as they arise and nip them in the bud before they turn devastating.