(umm… what is that, exactly?)
Used to be that Managers were the ones who approved things, set priorities and deadlines, and told people what to do with what and when.
Once upon a time, I had one of those for a boss—a micromanager who confessed to me that he should have been a cop because he liked telling people what to do! Need I tell you that he wasn’t the best boss of all time?
But in the past 20 years, the professional Manager’s role has expanded to cope with the complexities of conducting business in the information age, freely whirling the engines of coordinating, directing, planning, budgeting, organizing, controlling, decision-making, and problem-solving.
So the modern Manager (you!) is a multitasker who manages the organization’s activities to bring order and consistency to deliver a valued product or service to its customers. Good job!
Yet effective Managers, unlike my long-ago boss, recognize they must not only know how to manage activities, but also how to influence people—by envisioning, inspiring, persuading, motivating, listening, and building teamwork and meaningful relationships.
The art of leadership, as practiced by the best Managers, is effecting change in personal attitudes and behaviors for a change in actions and circumstances.
I once had a boss like that, too: a great leader who envisioned the future, influenced actions and behaviors, led by example, and enabled my early professional development. Though he is now retired, his legacy extends to this day through my own career, and I remain grateful for his investment in my life.
Yet “Leadership” isn’t a position one gets promoted to. It isn’t necessarily supervisory in nature, nor even “Management.” Leadership is self-decided; it is self-developed and self-appointed: anyone can become a Leader by learning and practicing its principles, regardless of rank or title. Go ahead, pin it on!
The merging of Management & Leadership does make a superior team, however, dealing in win-win scenarios wherever it goes. By unifying their two distinct but complementary strengths, the Leader-Manager not only controls functions and deliverables but also enables people and organizations to realize a far greater potential.
Those successful double-dealing Leader-Managers—regardless of position or title—encompass five key competencies that make the difference between maintaining a merely good organization, and building the most vital and effective ones:
1. Initiate change. Leader-Managers initiate, develop and implement transformations to achieve worthy goals.
2. Lead people. Leader-Managers envision the future and motivate others to act.
3. Drive results. Leader-Managers establish standards and benchmarks, and instill accountability and customer service.
4. Exercise ingenuity. Leader-Managers administer physical, financial, and technological resources and systems with expertise.
5. Build coalitions. Leader-Managers foster and empower collaborations and strengthen individuals and teams.
To achieve these competencies, the Leader-Manager must also develop and exude both personal and professional attributes of integrity, empathy, adaptability, eloquence, and service, all critical to his or her successful performance.
Interested in another promotion? Develop these powerful virtues and competencies in your management position, and your influence and responsibilities will rise and expand!
MasterPoint: Be a flourishing double-dealer. Be a Leader-Manager.