To Lead or To Manage?

Well, if you’re trying to grow sales you better be doing both and know the

There is a difference between management and leadership. The word manage
means to control, to be in charge of, to direct or to administer. You can manage
the process or system but you cannot manage people. Why, because if you
haven’t noticed lately you can’t control people. So, trying to only manage your
way to an increase in sales is not going to work.

When it comes to managing these are some of the things you can manage:
Financials – bottom line
The sales system
Daily activities
Planning process

Managers stress organization, focus on the achievement of short term goals,
seldom think strategically, tend not to push themselves to learn new things and
fear uncertainty. However, managers are essential in companies to make sure
that the day-to-day operations run smoothly.

To lead is to use the art of persuasion, to inspire and motivate others to move in
the same general direction. The key word is to inspire. Inspiration includes
passion, caring and emotion, and emotion is what drives others to take action on
their own. Now, that’s what we all want to see!

So, how do you do that? Leadership is a very subjective topic and as you read
the rest of this article I think you’ll understand why.

Leadership is truly a talent and not a process. There are no set rules, guidelines
or systems for leaders to follow. Some people think leadership is something
you’re born with and not something you can train. However, generally speaking,
I do think you can train managers to be more effective leaders and vice versa,
leaders to be more effective managers. The secret is the ability to recognize
when a situation calls for management skills or leadership.

First I think we have to understand what true leaders do. True leaders take
action for the people they represent and in order to do this they must first listen,
establish trust, discuss, debate, understand and communicate, effectively.
Listening is the first skill of a good leader. Stephen R. Covey wrote that leaders, “listen to others with genuine empathy,” and that they “seek first to understand,
then to be understood.”

Leaders are genuine team builders and in order to build a team you must
understand a little bit about human nature. Leaders must know what makes
people tick, what motivates them and how they’ll react. They must also have an
awareness of not only who they are but, why people behave the way the do and
how to use that information to inspire them. Without leadership people withdraw
into their own worlds and create their own groups of rebels. And usually these
groups are nonconformists going against the systems and procedures that
managers are trying so hard to control.

Effective leaders start with a vision, a common cause or goal. And then
communicate that with a passion and an element of emotion that “rallies the
troops”. This is the second most critical skill in inspiring others to follow,
communication. People don’t like to be ordered around or told what to do. They
want to be involved and feel like their part of the team, that they can make a
difference. In order to get the results you want on a continual basis the team
has to buy into that vision; they must believe that the leader’s vision is their
vision. Once they do they accept responsibility for achieving it and “act on their
own initiative”!

Have you ever wondered why some people are great managers but weak
leaders? Great managers will run a tight ship and have all the systems and
procedures in place but little will get done or accomplished because they lack
feeling, heart or passion. The reason for this is how the human brain works. It’s
divided into 2 hemispheres; the left is logic, dealing with words and specifics
while the right works more with emotions and relationships. We all are
preprogrammed at birth to naturally be able to use one side more than the other.

The idea is to be able to use both sides of the brain, depending on the situation.
The thought is to manage from the left and lead from the right. It’s like playing
golf and someone asks you which club is the best to use? The answer depends
on yardage to the pin, lay of the ball, wind, and you get the picture. Whether you
manage, lead or use a combination of both depends on how you analyze the
situation. Only then will you know exactly what to do.

Why is this important? Leadership is what it takes to develop your team.
Leadership is what it takes for repeated success and only leadership will
accomplish the goal.

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