In the final part of this series, How to Be a Leading Manager, I will discuss the importance of leading by setting long-term goals, and how you must manage the tedious day-to-day details in order to arrive at the bigger picture.
Leadership is defined as a position as a leader of a group or organization with the power to lead other people, while management is defined as the act or skill of controlling and making decisions about a business. In comparing these definitions side-by-side, it becomes clear that both titles possess characteristics needed to truly make a difference in a company or organization. Embodying one of these roles without the other is pointless.
Set a long-term goal and develop a big picture that will make waves at your organization, but don’t ignore or forget to recognize the importance of putting in the everyday work that is necessary for positive, lasting change.
The Bigger Picture vs. The Day-to-Day Details
Managers are detail-driven, while Leaders seek long-term direction for their team. While a greater picture and plan of your organization’s future should be the main priority, you cannot reach long-term objectives without giving attention to the details that help you and your team achieve the goals along the way.
As a manger, you should stick to a detailed plan in order to hit deadlines that you committed to meeting. However, as a leading manager, you should allow flexibility in your detailed plan as long as innovative ideas are being implemented to reach the greater vision. Positioning yourself as a detail-oriented person should not deter you from laying groundwork for the next phase for a greater horizon, in fact, it will help you get there more efficiently.
Food for Thought
As this series comes to a close, it is important to remember that instruction and encouragement are equally important in positioning yourself as a leading manager.
Provide your employees with the tools they need to perform and take ownership, but leave your door open for questions and ideas. By doing this, you are creating structure for your employees to follow, but you’re likewise allowing them to bring forth innovative ideas that they otherwise may have felt too insecure to voice. Instead of choosing between branding yourself as a manager or leader, make movements to practice deliberate habits of both.
In combining all of the topics discussed in this series, you will challenge yourself as both a better leader and a manger. Additionally, you will find that it is possible to fuse the two roles to become a leading manager. Don’t be hesitant to accomplish your mission as a manager while charting new growth and exceeding limitations as a leader—there is nothing stopping you!