Leading and managing - I often see and hear business owners and their staffs use these two words interchangeably, yet they are very different in extremely important ways. While being a “manager” is quite often a formal job title with specific responsibilities and accountability, being a “leader” is not. Here are some of the key differences between Leading and Managing.
As we grow our businesses, we need to grow our teams, and with that growth comes both excitement and fear. One of the most common growth challenges I hear about is that owners/leaders struggle with delegation, and if they can’t get their team to do what they ask, they might as well do it themselves, right? Wrong!
Delegation is just one more skill to learn, and it really isn’t all that complicated to learn…
Many business owners get to the point in their business and their life where things just stop improving. They reach a comfortable level that many call a plateau, where things are good but not great, and the majority of their previous level of dissatisfaction is now eliminated. While this may sound like a nice place to be, it is also a dangerous place to be. Staying at this plateau can led to complacency, and when you least expect it, it slowly takes you right back where you were without you ever realizing it.
Every single day, multiple times a day, we are faced with a decision to make. The decisions which need to be made come in different colors, shapes and sizes, yet many of them all have a common foundation to them. Despite the fact that many decisions seem dissimilar, in reality there is a fundamental underlying decision that goes along with the more obvious surface level decision. I call this fundamental Decision the Point of Power, and it is truly liberating when you understand how to wield it.
Many of us started businesses that required us to do the work that generated the bulk of the revenues of our companies. At some point, we then became the bottleneck in our businesses, as we only had so much capacity. At this point we added team, and often we began working longer hours, because we could still “do it better” than the team we hired. So they went home at 4:30, while we worked until whenever the work was done. Sound familiar? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way, and there are some simple steps to going from “Lead Doer” to “Leader of Doers”.
Teaching people how to be accountable will take some time, but it is always worth it because they will improve for you on a steady basis long before they get to owning their accountability. The steps are fairly simple and straight-forward, just like most fundamentals of business. The key is to decide whether you want to be a great task master or a great leader.