For the past 50+ years, there’s been a bit of confusion about the concepts of “management” and “leadership.” Even though these terms go hand in hand, they are not synonymous or interchangeable.
So, what’s the difference between “management” and “leadership?” You may know, but do your managers have a clear understanding of these words and how they impact their role in your organization? Seasoned and less experienced managers alike sometimes feel the lines between leadership and management are blurred. And, many times they are, especially when we have not been clear about what we expect from them in their role as a leader.
Where they seem to get stuck is not just in the understanding of the two words, but in the execution of what the two words represent. Face it, we promote high achievers into leadership positions, i.e. top sales person into sales manager, and expect them to automatically accelerate their performance by leading others. When we do this without adequate training and tools to support the development of their leadership skills, we risk disappointment and failure.
Think of it this way – you wouldn’t risk employee safety by purchasing a new piece of equipment and making it available for them to use without being properly trained. Yet, time-after-time we appoint a new manager, place them in a key role, expect them to lead others, overload them with “management” duties, which then limits their available time for leadership development. In both situations, training becomes the quickest way to significantly reduce the risk of failure.
Establish a Blueprint Design
To help your managers gain a clear perspective of what leadership represents in your organization, establish a blueprint designed to develop their leadership skills.
Leadership development can be as rewarding as it is challenging. Don’t be disappointed if a new leader doesn’t rise to the “head of the class” in the first few weeks of their new role. If you are confident you’ve made the right choice, be patient. Their moment of discovery will happen sooner rather than later.