I have read many books on management, and you tend to get quite mixed messages from all of them. Many of them split the role of a leader between management and leadership. I also believe they are two very different roles, playing a tactical part in business success. Rather than split hairs between the two functions, let's discuss their primary purpose to the business and how each of them interacts with the team. Let's have a look at my journey and compare how you see yourself as a leader.
Many of them split the role of a leader between management and leadership.
I started my career with a large corporate rural firm, where I moved through many roles, from the mailroom at head office to the manager of a large multiple income stream business. While there was no defined career path, the concept was to work hard, make yourself known to management and get promoted to a better role. Once I became a ‘manager’ I was given full autonomy of the business. I was required to submit a detailed business plan to the senior management team each year. Once approved, I had the discretion to run the business as I saw fit, as long as I stayed within the parameters nominated in my approved business plan.
Once I became a ‘manager’ I was given full autonomy of the business.
How I defined a manager. A manager demands respect and has an operational focus on the business. They are robust, resilient and resourceful.
As a manager, I was charged with ensuring the business performed to its maximum potential by generating a healthy ROI for shareholders. I would interview each team member in a 1-on-1 review process and work out who was of use to me and who wasn’t. I would then go about poaching good people from within the network that I knew could help me achieve my business priorities. The team was 'my' resource to ensure 'I' could do my job and I wanted the best of the best to do this. How wrong I was.
A manager demands respect and has an operational focus on the business.
As I matured into my career, I decided that this style of leadership wasn’t for me. While each year I was able to produce exceptional ROI for shareholders, it offered no sustainability for the business or the team. Constant staff churn and low cultural engagement were a bi-product of this type of leadership. Clients suffered, as a result, seeing a continuous carousel of new faces.
Constant staff churn and low cultural engagement were a bi-product of this type of leadership.
How I define a leader. I leader is someone who earns respect from the team. The team naturally warms to a leader and sees them as a source of knowledge to learn and build their career.
I leader is someone who earns respect from the team.
In a career change, I moved from a corporate environment in the rural industry to real estate, specifically property management, a smaller cottage-type industry in comparison. It became apparent that as a leader, my team would engage with me better if I had something to offer them. If they saw me as a source of knowledge, a motivator, and a mentor, they would look to me for guidance. If I offered them a career path and helped them develop the capabilities of their career, in return, I bred loyal, reliable, high-performing team members aligned with the business priorities.
If I offered them a career path and helped them develop the capabilities of their career, in return, I bred loyal, reliable, high-performing team members aligned with the business priorities.
I now didn’t see myself as a manager, I saw myself as a leader. Instead of the team being a resource to me, I was now a resource to them. My job was now to support the team to learn and grow. If they weren’t performing, that was my fault. Had I given them all the training and resources they needed to do their job to the best of their ability?
I now didn’t see myself as a manager, I saw myself as a leader.
As a property management business consultant, I would argue that a good leader has both leadership and management qualities, but I’m not debating that. What I do ask my clients though, is the role of a leader your priority? What type of leader are you to your team? Do you demand results or do you, coach and mentor?
hat type of leader are you to your team? Do you demand results or do you, coach and mentor?