Leader or Manager?

Are you a Leader or a Manager?

In line with my ‘Leading from the Front’ philosophy and along with the fact that I truly believe that people are your greatest asset in business, I think it’s really important that Leaders consult regularly with their staff.

I have been fortunate enough to engage with Leaders from a variety of Industry Sectors over the last four years and often find this lacking in the workplace. Leaders often get tied up in the administration and the processes of doing business and fail to make time to meaningly engage staff both on a personal and professional level.

This is what distinguishes leadership from management. Management is the process of planning, budgeting, organising and controlling resources, more so the administrative side of doing business. Whilst good management remains an important aspect of the leadership function, this alone is not enough for the 21st century leader. I see Leadership as intrinsic. Leaders need to understand and connect with staff, establish direction, motivate and inspire others to accomplish personal and organisational goals.

We expect our leaders to be participative and democratic. We want our people in key positions to be both leaders and managers. We need our leaders to lead by example, inspire and empower their work teams.

I tend to draw on my experiences within the military when consulting with organisations in their bid for high performance teams. I think the old perception of Military leadership is that it is very much Autocratic. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, wherever possible, Military Commander’s tend to be more participative and inclusive. They also operate exclusively on empowerment. Wouldn’t it be great to have a team you could empower to achieve outstanding results effectively and efficiently?

A Military Commander will spend time communicating their intention and purpose of the task to their sub-commander. Once the Commander is happy the underling understands the ‘Mission’, purpose and role, the sub-commander is then given the autonomy and initiative to deliver.

This is effective empowerment – trusting others with initiative and autonomy to deliver results. Delegating authority and yet remaining accountable for their decisions. A partnership that relies exclusively on mutual respect and trust. A partnership that can only be had by leaders who build effective relationships with their work teams.

– By Oscar Persichitti
Looking for leadership training in Australia? Oscar Persichitti runs training for business and government organisations in Sydney Perth Melbourne Brisbane Adelaide and Canberra …