Identifying and developing the next generation of managers and leaders is an essential task and the responsible approach taken by businesses that understand that bringing through their own talent is not only cost effective but ensures that the business culture and strategic direction remains an integral part of operations for the long term.
Identifying those ready to take on a more senior role in management and those who are ready or who clearly have the potential to be great leaders is no easy task. A successful manager may need to learn a totally different skill set and approach in order to become a successful leader, and high performing employees don’t always find the transition into a management role that straightforward.
So in order to put our employees on the right development path it is important that we understand the difference between a manager and a leader. Is management really that different from leadership? I think most of us understand that it is but sometimes articulating how and why can be a challenge. So here is my quick take on it.
- A leader must create a vision and be able to clearly articulate this to their organisation. The management team should be able to interpret that vision and be able to implement the structure and process to deliver it.
- A leader should win followers. Managers create hard working employees.
- A leader must be able to use their imagination to see what is truly possible. Management should look to identify the specific work necessary to make it a reality.
- Leaders need the ability to ‘think outside the box’ and create change whereas management must often rely on facts and figures to analyse and drive performance and manage change.
- Leaders have the charisma to be able to engage their organisation in their vision. Managers need to be able to model the way, leading by example.
- Leaders need to be prepared to sometimes take ‘strategic risks’ taking responsibility for the results. Managers show discipline and work to a plan and should take credit when it succeeds.
- A leader must have the confidence in the vision they have created for the business. Managers must believe that the part they play is critical to the success of the overall strategy.
- A leader empowers his people. A manager will exercise power to keep their team on track.
So is there such a thing as a ‘born leader’ – I am sure there is, but for most of us the leaders and managers in our businesses have to be developed and this requires an investment in both time and money. Patience is required to coach and mentor them and to help them learn from the mistakes they will undoubtedly make along the way, trust will be required to delegate responsibility to them and to gain their loyalty, and investment will be required in training them to ensure they have the skills necessary to succeed.
Developing your own highly skilled managers and leaders, who are aligned to your companies values and culture, is not only rewarding but will deliver improvements in key areas across your organisation, including improved employee engagement, greater staff retention, reduced recruitment costs, and if you get it right, increased growth and profitability.
If your business is interested in developing its potential management talent then maybe our unique and innovative training workshops could be just what you are looking for.