10 May 2023

To improve your team’s chances of success, you must know the difference between leading and managing

Growing a company and achieving sustainable success requires great leaders and human resources. However, each individual has a unique approach to running their business, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula for success. With the right skills and attitude, however, any business goal can be achieved.

As a Business Coach who has worked with numerous business owners, I have learned that understanding the type of business owner you are is crucial, especially in the early stages of your business. This knowledge allows you to effectively influence your team and work towards your goals, rather than sticking to outdated methods that may be hindering your company’s true potential. In this article, we will explore the different types of business owners and how understanding your own style can help you achieve success.

So what’s the difference between a leader and a manager

To begin with, it’s essential to understand that leadership and management are not mutually exclusive. Both skills are necessary for a company to run successfully. However, there are some fundamental differences between them. While managers focus on execution and are involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, leaders concentrate on setting a clear direction and vision for the team. They define employee roles and ensure that the necessary processes and capacity are in place for the team to execute the plan.

Leadership requires a long-term perspective, as opposed to management’s short-term focus. Effective leaders empower their team members and motivate them to take ownership of their work, fostering a sense of accountability and responsibility. They encourage creativity and innovation, always seeking ways to improve their processes and create a positive work culture.

You need to be comfortable with delegating and letting go of day-to-day procedures to focus on establishing a clear plan for your team. This can be a challenging shift for some, particularly those who are used to spending most of their time putting out fires and managing from a reactive perspective. However, by prioritising leadership and adopting a proactive approach, you can create a more positive work environment and improve employee job satisfaction.

To make this shift, start by setting a clear vision and direction for your team. Communicate your expectations and priorities, and empower your team members to take ownership of their work. Encourage creativity and innovation, and seek feedback to identify areas for improvement. By focusing on leadership instead of management, you can create a more productive and engaged team that will drive your business forward.

Inspire your team with core values and purpose

As a business owner, it’s important to lead with purpose and instill a sense of direction in your team. One of the key ways to do this is by incorporating your core values and business why into your daily operations. This not only helps your team understand the company’s mission and goals but also empowers them to make more autonomous decisions.

During meetings, it’s important to talk about the bigger picture and long-term goals, rather than just focusing on short-term objectives. By sharing your personal why and passion for the business, you can inspire your team and create a more cohesive work environment. When employees feel motivated and connected to the company’s purpose, they are more likely to be engaged and perform better.

Active listening: A key ingredient in effective leadership

Value and prioritise the opinions and feedback of your team members. While managers may be focused on meeting deadlines and achieving targets, leaders recognise the value in actively listening to their team’s input and perspective.

When employees feel heard and valued, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work. This is why leaders should create an open and safe environment for feedback, where team members can share their thoughts without fear of retribution.

Effective leaders also understand the importance of empathy and putting themselves in their employees’ shoes. They take the time to understand the challenges and obstacles their team faces and seek to support them in overcoming these challenges. By doing so, leaders can foster a culture of trust, collaboration, and growth within their organisation.

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