Love Leadership

Leadership expert Katherine Farnworth explores the concept ‘Management vs Leadership’

The difference between management and leadership can be quite a traditional discussion. It’s one worth having though to allow you to reflect on your desired outcome, and then refine your approach.

As a manager, you will fluctuate between being a manager and a leader continuously. It is useful to identify which role you occupy the most. Are you a manager 80 per cent of the time and a leader just 20 per cent? What is your ratio? See if you can decrease your manager number and increase your leader number.

The role of a manager is important as it ensures things get done now, ensuring ‘business as usual’, despite challenges or setbacks. However, just to focus on imminent urgent tasks means you might lack important, strategic thinking. You might feel like you are always being reactive and chasing your tail. This might maintain current success, but may not improve it.

It is therefore useful to identify how far ahead you are looking? Is your focus the short or the long term? Are you looking forward just one week, one month or one year? Even five years? The further away your ‘horizon’ the more likely you are to work backwards and not only identify challenges but, more significantly, the root cause of those challenges.

Are you tolerating an individual’s poor performance when you could be having that long overdue conversation and establishing a workable action plan that will generate a change in behaviour? Are you tolerating a repeated problem when you could change the process with greater consultation? Do you know what your long term goal is? Can you communicate that to your team to encourage buy-in, or do you just tell people what needs to be achieved by the end of the week? On reflection do you ‘tell’ people what to do most of the time, focusing on the task not the people? Or do you encourage people to have a voice, coaching and involved them to identify solutions themselves so the team becomes self-sufficient and not as dependent on you? A focus on longer term goals allows you to slowly become more proactive and improve performance, rather than just maintain it.

Essentially, management is what you do and leadership is how you do it. View yourself as a leader. Internally, refer to yourself as a leader rather than a manager even if the word manager is your job title. What will you do differently?

In order to give yourself time for longer term strategic thinking, take action. Identify what you do that you could empower others to do. Establish a second in command to encourage succession planning, reward good behaviour and filter easy to answer questions before they get to you. Stop ‘telling’ experienced individuals what to do and start ‘asking’ open questions to develop self-sufficiency and minimise the questions people ask you, when you know they know the answer. Encourage your team to help each other. Identify what cultural habits are helping or hindering.

What can you do about that? Once you have empowered others to do more what can you do with the extra time you have clawed back? What are your long term strategic goals? Identify tasks you can take from your manager to develop yourself. Think ‘as if’ you are your manager and see what difference it makes to your thinking. Focus not just on the task but also the people, to develop them so you can ensure long term success.



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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