Glendon Evarts explains the difference between management and leadership.
First thing’s first – let’s distinguish between leadership and management. The two are different, yet they work hand in hand, and to be effective, you need a good balance of both. In my opinion, team management is a process.
As managers, we understand what our end goal is, we put processes in place to achieve them and we make sure the end user has the tools they need to succeed. But, just because the set-up is sound, this doesn’t mean you have built the culture or the work ethic to execute the process efficiently.
Welcome to the world of leadership.
Having the perfect process is only a fraction of the solution, the biggest challenge is maintaining a motivated and inspired team, a team that will execute your process to such a level that it exceeds all expectation.
A manager will only speak up about the negatives
When times are tough and the workload is overwhelming, it can be easy to rely on management over leadership.
You know you are a manager if you…
1. Only speak up about the negatives and disregard the positives
As a manager, you need to ensure your staff do the right thing. However, focusing solely on this is not going to inspire your staff to work hard for you.
Recognise the good whenever possible and your staff will work hard to maintain the appreciation you have for them.
2. Tell people what to do instead of asking them what they think they should do
Telling people what to do is all well and good, if you want to continue telling them for the duration of your and their career.
Discussing options and asking questions not only get buy-in from the participant, it allows them to learn how to deal with the situation so they won’t need to come to you for the same reason again.
3. Criticise instead of develop
Criticising people’s mistakes will only deflate their attitude, and we all know how important attitude is to achieve success.
Instead of pointing out faults, coach your staff through challenges and mistakes so that they are aware of what happened but they know what to do if it were to happen again.
Allow your staff to know that it is perfectly ok to make mistakes, as long as they learn from them. Knowledge is nothing without experience.
4. Take the credit for your team’s hard work
“It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman said this, and as hard as it can be to swallow, it’s true.
Recognition comes from within, use the achievement of your goals and objectives as recognition for yourself and allow the people working hard for you to accept the applause.
If you spend all your time looking for credit, not only will your team feel under-appreciated, you will look selfish. Build a great performing self-managed team by giving them full accountability and reward for their performance; this is the sign of great leadership.
Your goal should be to essentially become redundant – only then will you be able to grow your business, take on new challenges or move up the ladder.
What does a leader do differently?
Here are some of the most effective and important aspects of leadership:
1. Be an amazing listener
Listening to your team will drive how effective you are as a leader. And make no mistake, I mean listening objectively with a clear mind. We all have our previous experiences and preconceptions that cloud our judgement, but here is the thing, EVERYONE is different.
When you listen, you listen like the words you are hearing are gold. No daydreaming or dismissing. Give your people the time to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences. I guarantee your business will benefit and your team will feel loved.
2. Have a good moral compass
Do the right thing. To be a great leader is to set the ultimate example. Do the right thing by people, make decisions that you are proud of and coach ethics that you live by.
Direct marketing is a heavily tainted industry, clouded by the bad habits passed down from old sales behaviours. That doesn’t mean you need to follow the path. Create your own path and project this culture on to your team. Be transparent, keep them in the loop, and make decisions that are best for both your team and your business.
Whenever I am selling, coaching or making decisions I always ask myself: how would I feel if someone was selling this to me? Or, how would I feel if someone managed or coached me like this? Lastly, have integrity. Do what you say you will do, when you say you will do it by.
3. Be an open resource
If you find yourself in a position of leadership, it is likely because you had someone develop your own abilities. In turn, provide the same service to your peers.
Holding on to what makes you great only makes you irreplaceable, and no one wants to promote someone they can’t replace. So share your knowledge with anyone willing to hear it, to absorb it and to take it on.
Be an open resource and share what makes you great. Not only will you develop a fantastic leadership team underneath you, you will open yourself up for promotion or growth.
4. Always be objective
When you are dealing with issues in the business, always be an objective listener. Find out the facts and never let the opinion of someone else taint your vision.
There are two sides to EVERY story, so make sure you listen to both sides without preconceptions.
Every individual has their own journey and experience. You will be surprised at what you will learn about people if you allow them to share openly and you have their trust. If you have someone’s trust, always respect it.
5. Set expectations and get buy-in
You can only manage expectations if they are clear and agreed. If you need someone to do something, sit down with them, clearly communicate your request and desired outcomes, discuss options that will allow that person to complete the objectives.
Let them come up with some options so that they have involvement in the process and allow them to agree the best one suited to them. If for some reason the goal is missed, it can be managed accordingly. People hate being told what to do but they love being involved in a decision-making process.
With thanks to Glendon Evarts, who has spent the last 7 years working as a call centre manager and prides himself on his ability to develop people.
For more information on the differences between a team leader and a team manager, have a read of this article.