Leadership and Management
There’s a great debate out there about what leadership is and what management is. Some people define leadership as setting the vision, communicating the vision and motivating people around the vision. Management is seen as planning, organization, staffing, directing and controlling. Of course with those definitions everyone wants to be seen as a leader and not as a manager.
I prefer to think of leadership as the soft skills, the emotional skills and management as the hard skills, the techniques you use to get things done. I believe that if you focus first on the hard skills, the management ones, you’ll naturally become a better leader. But if you focus on the leadership skills first, you may never pick up management skills.
This section of the website is still under development but its focus is on management skills. It’s about what you need to do to get stuff done.
Strategy execution is the single greatest problem and the single greatest opportunity facing businesses today.
And the root cause of that problem is leadership. But not in the way you might think. It is not about leadership behaviors, the problem is leadership and management process.
If you’ve ever played golf, you’ve probably noticed that you record your score every 15 minutes or so, at the end of every hole. If you watch baseball, you’ll notice that they measure everything all the time. In the industrial economy, everything was measured on an ongoing basis, as is everything in the service economy today. As for the knowledge economy, we aren’t that good at measuring things.
Job Design and Delegation
Management books and courses will talk about delegating and you can try to learn to do it until you’re blue in the face but without metrics, you can’t delegate. Metrics are the key to successful delegating because they enable an employee to know exactly what they are responsible for and enable the manager to know exactly what is being achieved.
Furthermore, through careful delegation, a manager can ensure that employees have the opportunity to do what they do best every day and thus be more engaged in their work. So if delegation is the soft skill then what’s the leadership process or hard skill you need to delegate effectively? It’s the Job Description.
No, we’re not talking about that dreaded annual appraisal that we all love so much. Performance management is about 365 days of communicating effectively rather than one day of judging. In the world of leadership, if communication is the soft skill, then performance management is the process that ensures it gets done.
The purpose of coaching employees is to help them improve business results by better understanding: the linkage between activities and results; how to change that linkage; how to increase the engagement in activities, all to improve results.