All great organizations have two things in common; they employ great leaders, and they employ great managers. Oftentimes, we are told that leadership = good, and management = bad. This is common in social media quotes and by leadership commentaries. We are told that leaders are caring, and managers are not. This just simply is not true, and while it might sound clever in a social media post, you cannot build a great organization without both.
Leaders are great at creating inspiration and vision for an organization's future and growth. They are integral in creating an excellent culture and standards for best practices and bringing in new ideas to keep improving. They attract top talent and inspire them to move the organization. We need these people within our businesses! While leaders are the visionaries of our organizations, we need management to execute the ideas of the leaders and maintain the culture and standards set forth by leadership. Leadership inspires the company culture, but it is not enough to just be inspired.
That is where management comes in! Having a strong management team that can execute a solid action plan is the key to getting things done and moving toward continued growth.
In the same breath, management without great leadership will fall apart. You can have the best systems in the world, but a lack of leadership will prove them to be disadvantageous. In the comparison of leadership versus management, we know that both are extremely important! Fundamentally, leadership is the base of a great organization. Directly after that comes management and operations.
Organizations need to consistently rate themselves on leadership first, and then how their management fits into that. Organizations must also remember that leadership is earned, not given, and not all managers are great leaders. Believe it or not, your team wants to be told what to do; it’s human nature. What's important is who is instructing what.
I once had a dear client pass away and immediately jumped in to support their family business in continuing to be profitable for years to come. During such a difficult time for this family, it was challenging to see through the fog of grief, but so necessary to maintain the legacy that this doctor left behind.
The main question that came up during this time was “Who are my leaders?” And I can be the first to say that we quickly found out! The leaders of this organization stepped up in a way that was so encouraging to this grieving family, and it was truly amazing to see firsthand. This organization then went on to have their highest productivity month in 30 years! It is during these difficult times that you really find out who your leaders are.
Leaders are the type to stick around through thick and thin, not bail as soon as things get rocky. Ask yourself who your leaders and managers are, and rate yourself from one to ten on how you support these people to succeed within your organization. Anyone can be a leader, and we are all faced with daily opportunities to be the voice of reason.
Also, keep in mind that management is just as important to the health of your business in maintaining the vision of your leadership. The answer you come up with might surprise you! Your leaders may not be managers, and your managers may not be leaders. How are they working together to manage a process and work toward continued growth?
Combine the two and amazing things can happen in your organization.