Management & Leadership
Over the years, I’ve worked with dozens of well managed organizations experiencing a pronounced lack of leadership. That is the reason I’ve been asked to come and help. Major changes are under way and already showing signs of disappointing results. Or they are on the verge of implementing a major initiative and know there is too much at stake to execute this one like they have executed so many of the others in the past.
Management and leadership are two distinctly different skill sets. I remember reading somewhere the Harvard Business School definition of management was getting work done through the efforts of other people. Management is about operational effectiveness and efficiency at getting the goods and services out the door of the enterprise and into the hands of the customers, day in and day out.
There are endless definitions for leadership, as it has been the study of gifted scholars and theorists throughout the ages. Whatever the definition you prescribe to, leadership is about movement. It is about taking people from where they currently are to someplace different, often when they wouldn’t go there on their own accord. Leadership is all about change.
Organizations today must continually develop leadership competencies throughout their ranks, from senior executives to all employees. It is not enough to set up a small group in the organization and thrust the mantle of leadership on their shoulders alone. Everyone in the organization should be spending time each day both managing their part of the enterprise as well as leading it toward the desired future.
Unfortunately, most organizations spend far more time, effort and money on building management skills at the expense of developing leaders. During times of major change, like what we are living through right now, management skills will only get you so far.
In today’s turbulent world, when more time spent managing and less time spent leading, the result is often an excessive amount of energy required for fire-fighting. That is dealing with all the headaches involved when trying to change when you don't yet have everyone engaged in the journey. Costs go up, timelines are stretched, results are dismal, people are frustrated and organizational health is compromised.
Over the years, I’ve come to understand leadership requires some essential skills:
1. Get people’s attention and give them a sense of hope for the desired future.
2. Link all activity and changes to clear intentions for the future.
3. Implement the major initiatives as best as possible.
4. Help people adapt to the changing reality.
5. Enhancing communication to ensure everyone is fully engaged..
These five essentials for quality leadership have been at the heart of our work in helping organizations change for decades. Building competent change leadership throughout an organization has become critically. Is your organization both well managed and well led? Or is it like so many these days, over-managed and under-led?
How does your organization stack up against these five essentials? What are you doing about helping fix the situation if improvement is required? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to talk.