Management & Leadership – let’s keep talking about this…

In our first newsletter of the year we challenged you to think about whether 2021 would be the year when you decided whether you would be a manager or a leader – which really was an unfair question because we then went on to say that to be successful you actually need to be both.

This is a theme we want to hold on to in 2021 because for many of our clients we see a lot of investment and effort put in to the development of leadership competencies, and we see business not paying enough attention to the systems and competencies required to manage their businesses well now.

An example of this is the focus on creating a strategic plan (now don’t get me wrong, having a strategy is essential in your business) but forgetting to pay enough attention to ensuring you have good systems in place that make the work you currently do as efficient and easily repeatable as possible.

Remember, in the article we highlighted last time ‘Where does Management Stop and Leadership Start? by Tania Prive, Tania talks about the importance of management to ensure that the here and now is managed well, and leadership is about how we create and manage the changes required for the future.  In short she says:

All in all, this is where management stops and leadership starts:

  • Management controls the day-to-day operations.
  • Management focuses on deadlines.
  • Management solves immediate problems.
  • Leadership envisions a new future.
  • Leadership creates a pathway forward.
  • Leadership solves problems.
  • Leadership inspires change.

A simple way to check in on whether you have the current emphasis in your business on both management and leadership is to look at your answers to the following questions:

1. What opportunities are there for us to allocate work more efficiently to the team on a daily / weekly basis?

2. How well do we meet our deadlines with our clients? (i.e. project completion dates / returning calls to customers / delivering goods on time)

3. How well do we meet our internal deadlines? (i.e. accounts timeframes / week and month end close-off requirements / daily work completion)

4. Do we have a business plan?

5.  Do we have a strategic plan?

6. Do our team members know about these plans and how important their work is to achieving them?

7. How well are we making sure that what we’re doing today is contributing to where we want to be?

8.  How well are we communicating our progress against both the business and strategic plan to our team members?

The first four of these questions speak to the attention you’re paying to management, the last four speak to the attention you’re paying to leadership in your business.  How did you do?

If you need some help to figure out how to fill any gaps or to work on what’s next then don’t hesitate to give us a call.


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