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By John Cleary

Management delivers the power of position and invites to direct while others do. A tried and trusted formula for those whose actions under value the importance of staff engagement in times of digital transformation.

Intention is not enough if you want to succeed in a highly competitive environment. Reading another article or developing another ‘to do’ list are just distractions when a manager reverts to command and control and directive habits.

time ex

Positive action is essential to develop management skills. Ideas on how managers transition to become leaders abound. Ultimately the solution lies within and is beyond mere intention.

The first step is to better understand you. Profiling resources such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) help you understand your leadership style, develop your strengths and minimise your weaknesses. 360 Degree Feedback also provides valuable feedback on the inevitable and sometimes uncomfortable gap between self and followers perception.

It is a tough challenge when the change project is you and takes courage to admit your weaknesses and develop your strengths. It is tougher still if your emotional intelligence needs to be developed to understand how to leverage the full capabilities of your team. Dee Hock, CEO of Visa International, believes around 50% of a leader’s energy and focus needs to be devoted to positively influencing those around us.

The second step is to understand the difference between management and leadership.

Consider what behaviour is modelled when a time poor Manager who continues to:

  • do tasks that other team members can do as well if not better
  • rely on ‘gut feel’ when staff have contrary timely and accurate business intelligence

A leader models effective time management, delegation, influence and problem solving.

This distinction between Managers and Leaders was developed in a leadership workshop.

Managers Leaders
Power of Title

Direct and Demand

Silo Approach

Task Oriented

Habitual Style – inflexible

Policies & Procedures

Self – It’s Up to Me!

Extensive Knowledge

Values Based – Influence and Inspire

Empathise and Engage

Embrace cross functionality

Systems Thinkers

Adaptive Style

Objectives and Outcomes

Develop shared vision and common purpose

Use wisdom to leverage knowledge

Clarify the difference between management and leadership in your own mind. Plan how to develop your leadership style.  Model leadership behavior to demonstrate a clear message to your staff that performance improves with common purpose and willing followers.

In “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You”[1], ‘tough empathy’ is defined as ‘giving people what they need, not what they want’.  Apply tough empathy to yourself.  Build a better you. Provide opportunity for staff to engage, innovate and be their best under your leadership.

Effective leadership brings significant rewards in all facets of life and a sense of belonging. In the workplace leadership provides a gift of time by harnessing collective team skills.

German Physicist Georg Lichtenberg said “I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.”

Management is seldom enough.  Leadership is more effective when performance relies on a foundation of shared vision, common purpose and willing followers!

John Cleary

[1] “Why Should Anyone Be Led by You” R Goffe & G Jones, Harvard Business Review, October 2000

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