Managers need leadership and leaders need management in an indivisible, mutual partnership. But the number one rule regarding leadership and management is that the key to success lies in choice. The choice of an employer or an activity which is not the most suitable for your innate or acquired talents will lead to relative or absolute failure.
That's also true for all those unfortunates who work under your leadership – that's where leadership and management are joined. Both are reliant on the ability to persuade others to use their own talents and expertise to achieve the goals of the business.
Leader/managers can find human relations very difficult to manage because of their personality. The ability to relate to others, from close colleagues to the most unfamiliar new employee, is fundamental to effective leadership.
Yet I've dealt with leaders who fall short on the most basic human tests; one individual even confided in me that he didn't know how to say thank you. But he was still very successful.
If he had been better at communicating and more effective at man management, though, he could have been even more successful.
A good leader should be more critical of his or her performance than anyone else. Ask yourself the following eight questions:
- Leadership: Am I an effective leader and do I enable others to lead just as effectively in their areas?
- Challenge: Do I check myself continuously, as well as my colleagues and the organisation, in order to identify and exploit areas that could be significantly improved?
- Decisiveness: Do I identify issues quickly and resolve them as fast as I can and with due diligence?
- Actions: Do I act on decisions and give feedback without delay?
- Communication: Is everyone aware of what I'm doing and do they know why I'm doing it - and can I say the same about them?
- Change: Has a climate been created where everybody welcomes change and knows how to implement it?
- Basics: Have the key success factors been identified and am I sure that they are working well?
- Objectives: Do we have high and potentially rewarding ambitions to work towards?
Always remember that nothing stands still. Positive change can be effected by the revision of strategy and tactics. On the other side of that, neglect leads to disastrous performance – bad management, bad leadership - it hardly matters what you call it.