Are you a Leader or a Manager?

By May 11, 2021Blog Page
Are you a leader or a manager?

Succeeding in business has never been easy, and with the ongoing challenges of Covid-19, it has become even more difficult for many business owners.

Only 46 per cent of Australian businesses believe that meeting their financial commitments will be easy over the next three months. With unemployment expected to increase during this period, less than 20 per cent of businesses will hire new staff.

So many businesses struggle in difficult economic times because managers or business owners lack the leadership skills needed to inspire, motivate and guide employees along the path to success.

Utilising the services of a good business coach can certainly help. But before you make that call, you need to know what makes a good leader and the skills you need to be an effective leader Vs a good manager.

Once you do, then engaging a business coach to develop your talents can be an invaluable investment into yourself and your business.

What is the role of an effective leader?

A good leader needs to fulfil many roles to really drive the direction of the business, while ensuring that employees are inspired, motivated and guided to be successful in their roles.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it” *

Provide a Business Vision

One of the first critical roles of a leader is to craft a good business vision and clearly defined goals that you want your business to achieve.

Good leaders formulate strong vision statements that clearly articulate the vision of the company and provide a clear direction as to where the business is heading. This then needs to be communicated effectively with your team, along with the specific strategies to achieve those goals.

Everyone in the business needs to be on the same pathway to achieving the vision, and the leader’s role is to provide ongoing guidance and direction to executing that vision.

Effective Organizational Structure and Communication Protocols

The role of a good leader is to bring people together, enable them to work effectively as a team to achieve common goals.

A vision provides the direction, a well communicated strategy provides the roadmap, and the role of the leader is to know how each team member fits into and contributes to the success of the organisation.

Good leadership can significantly influence an organisation’s structure and profitability. A good leader will use their experience, skills and wisdom to make certain that the right people are hired, thus ensuring the business can complete the tasks required to succeed.

An effective leader will have a grasp on all aspects of an organisation to ensure operational readiness. This ensures that a business always has enough organisational competency to tackle complex problems that will lead to growth and efficiency.

Offering training and planning for upskilling will ensure that employees are able to take on tasks that increase in complexity and subsequently provides more senior managerial roles as the business moves forward. This also allows for succession planning as the organisation can manage more complex tasks, and still maintain growth when experienced team members retire.

Effective leaders align staff with specific goals that are measurable, realistic and attainable. They analyse workflow and operational procedures to make sure that productivity is maintained to a high level. They implement strategies to solve complex problems, increase workflow efficiency and profitability levels.

The role of the leader is to improve operational efficiency to help the business stay on track to achieving its vision, and by effectively communicating and establishing the protocols for this to happen.

Be an Effective Role Model

Good leaders, lead by example.

An effective leader use their values and beliefs to inspire and set a positive example to the whole workforce. By focussing on the positives and celebrating the successes, a good leader can achieve the respect, loyalty and dedication of a committed workforce.

Acting with fairness, integrity and honesty ensures that employees and customers will want to deal with your business. Creating and operating in an environment of trust and safety where everyone is valued will create a stable and willing working environment that enables growth.

When a conflict does arise, an effective leader utilises one of several negotiation tactics. They display fairness, moderate the negotiation and always maintain respect. This demonstrates a hands-on approach to staff and enhances role modelling of good leadership skills.

Inspire and Motivate

A good leader encourages their employees to come forward with their ideas. They listen to the team during business meetings. They demonstrate perception and self-awareness in understanding their own strengths and weaknesses. They must also be able to delegate to others who have stronger skills to achieve the common goal.

Building a strong team is a trait of great leaders, as is hiring people who complement their skills. Businesses that fail, often have a team that is unproductive and dysfunctional. This is generally attributed to a failure in strong leadership.

Delegate and Empower 

A great leader must be willing to empower staff and senior managers to make decisions.

Delegating tasks shows that an employee is trusted and supported, and also shows that the leader understands the values and goals of each individual team member.

By delegating tasks, a good leader is empowering their team to make decisions and that builds a culture of trust and accountability within a business. Conversely, micromanaging team members takes away the strategic focus of a leader and causes frustration and angst with an individual and within a team.

Delegation allows an effective leader to address the highest priorities and more strategic aspects of the business. This gives them more time to coach, nurture and lead their teams to maximise resources and build a strong focussed culture within the workplace.

Effective Time Management

Effective leadership means effective time management which is crucial in the success of any business.

A good leader will demonstrate discipline and structure in their daily routine to stay focussed on the goals at hand.

Being effective people managers, will mean they build into their calendar one on one time with teams and individuals. Sometimes they will work directly with them, other times they will be there to share ideas, listen and guide.

A good leader will set goals and will allocate time to achieving them. As market pressures demand, they will modify the company’s projects and schedule accordingly to achieve those goals.

When one project is lagging, the leader can assess whether more resources need to be allocated or the workflow and time goals need to be adjusted. This way they can keep the entire company on track to reach its targets.

What makes a great leader?

As covered in our article, there are many different qualities that leaders can display depending on the industry they are in. However, there are a few common traits that many of the best leaders in the world demonstrate:

  1. Self-awareness: a good leader acknowledges that they do not know everything, and actively seeks advice before making decisions.
  2. Decisiveness: a good leader will make an informed decision and even if it is unpopular, will stick to and devote themselves toward executing and achieving the outcome.
  3. Fairness: effective leaders are fair and base their decisions on the information at hand, not biased judgements.
  4. Enthusiasm: a good leader loves their job and is passionate about what they do, thus motivating and inspiring others.
  5. Honesty: respect is something that is earned by always displaying integrity. A leader who displays honesty and integrity sets the cultural direction of the business.
  6. Knowledge: leaders need to have knowledge in their field but can readily draw upon the expertise of their team when needed.
  7. Problem solving: a good leader displays effective problem-solving skills that are often creative and involve an element of risk taking.

Other common traits of a good leader is they are hard workers who are committed to reaching their goals and are resilient under pressure.

What are the benefits of strong leadership?

There are many substantial benefits to strong leadership. Strong leaders are effective at building strong, functional and effective teams. When teams are motivated and understand their place, they will produce good work, productivity rises and the quality of work improves.

Employees are far more likely to stay long-term, even if they get offers to go elsewhere. They are loyal to the company and the leader themselves, and they feel happy coming to work every day.

There are advantages for the leader as well. They can spot opportunities that come their way. They can help the business grow and form alliances and partnerships with others.

Leaders train other leaders. They pass their knowledge on, and future leaders learn from their experience and wisdom.

Leaders build strong business cultures. It takes time for a good corporate culture to be created. However, once a culture is built and becomes ingrained, it helps brand awareness and improves staff retention rates.

These benefits combined will lead to increased performance and profitability. Big businesses such as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have lasted because of strong leadership throughout their growth and maturing phases.

Developing leadership skills is something that all business owners need to work on to build a team that will help them achieve their business vision.

What is the difference between management and leadership?

Management and leadership roles are quite distinct from each other.

A leader provides the vision and sets the strategies to carry out that vision. They create values, influencing and inspiring people to take risks. They motivate others to achieve goals by encouraging them to stay focussed and keep the big picture in mind.

A good manager ensures the day-to-day operations run smoothly and efficiently. Managers oversee and execute tasks by working alongside employees and monitoring to make sure the business is fully operational and delivering on time.

Managers focus on the day-to-day operations tasks at hand, while a strong leader will focus on a higher, more strategic levels of the business.

How can I find the best business leadership coach in Sydney?

Strong leadership is essential to so many aspects of business success and requires many roles that takes skill, dedication and passion. These must embody leadership qualities, facilitate intelligence, creativity and building an ongoing positive culture.

To help develop your business leadership skills, learn more through the expert guidance of James King from Business Vision. James is a business leadership coach based in Sydney who has hands on experience of running teams, also in establishing and building greater value and growth in any business.

Contact us today.

*Dwight D. Eisenhower*- supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force and on June 6, 1944, commanded the Allied invasion of western Europe at Normandy, France. He served his country as a statesman and became the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961.