I've read multiple posts on DrivingSales about the differences between leadership and management. A good leader possesses both, and the role in which you hold determines the right mix. The important thing is that you have a mix. Let me explain.
Leadership is about disrupting the way things currently are to build a better tomorrow. It’s chaos and disruption. Leadership is motivating employees to be better, to strive higher. Leadership is revising and improving a marketing strategy or process to achieve better results. It’s messy, and because it requires change, nuance and tact are required.
The litmus test for leadership is simple. Who will follow you “over the wall”? Are you at the forefront of the trends in auto or is your store a laggard?
Management, on the other hand, is about creating order in the midst of chaos. Management maintain processes and protocols. Without this order, your operations are ad hoc. Management standardizes reporting and analyzes performance. It executes that tasks (usually process-driven) that are required for success.
How do you gauge your management effectiveness? How consistent is your store’s performance? Are analytics stressed, tracked, and most important, monitored regularly?
You need to possess both leadership skills and management skills.
Think about it. If you don’t work on your leadership skills, you won’t grow. Your employees won’t be motivated to push themselves and your operations will grow stale.
Without management skills you don’t have a process and training doesn’t happen. The inmates run the asylum.
The challenge is making time to work on both of these skills. In my experience I’ve found it’s easier to focus on management than leadership. Most of the day-to-day we go through is executing management tasks. You need to build in time to focus on leadership.
What should your mix be? It depends on the job role. A lot tech doesn’t need many leadership skills. But a General Manager had better possess the skills necessary to chart the future strategy and innovate. Bottom line: it’s up to you to determine your mix and develop your leadership and management skills.
How are you prioritizing your time to focus on both leadership and management?