Leadership Advice – How to Lead, Not Manage
By Richard Brody
Although the best leaders have also been superb managers, the skills required of managers and leaders are significantly different. For the most part, managers are task oriented, while great leaders are always vision and goal oriented.
In my over three decades of working closely with about a thousand leaders from a wide variety of organizations, backgrounds and skill levels, I have witnessed many individuals who may have been superb managers never become true, effective leaders.
1. Leaders must have an imagination, while one can be a perfectly fine manager by following someone else’s vision. Leaders must see things as they should and could be, rather than merely as they are.
While managers manage the here and now, leaders must look at the short- term, intermediate term, and the long- term ramifications of what they do. This is one of the reasons that many of the most successful corporations divide executive duties between the Chairman, the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Operating Officer, and often also the Chief Financial Officer.
In that scenario, the chairman can be the dreamer, looking at the big picture and come up with ideas and plans.
The Chief Executive Officer then oversees the day to day implementation in terms of planning and assigning/ delegating duties to others on a more day- to- day basis. At the same time, the Chief Operating Officer would then take these ideas and goals, and make sure that whatever needs to be done gets done, overseeing the operational aspect of the business.
And, of course, the Chief Financial Officer would work closely with the others to assure fiscal stability, etc. In an organization, the manager is often the Executive Director, or whichever paid staff oversees and supervises the operations and implements the activities and back office support to get programs and plans implemented and completed.
The volunteer leader, in an ideal situation, should be a combination of an idea person, motivator, communicator, and visionary. When this individual gets more involved with managerial duties (unless forced to by circumstances such as they are not getting done otherwise), often the individual in the leadership position is an ineffective leader.
There is no true leadership without vision.
2. There is often a fine line between necessary action that an effective leader must take, and the amount of tasks that can be delegated to others. In an ideal situation, a leader would avoid micromanaging, and would delegate many tasks to others (both volunteer and paid).
However, as is often the case, individuals unprepared to be true leaders avoid taking action by delegating tasks to others, without be assured that this individual is properly prepared, equipped, and/ or willing to handle the task. It is only micromanagement when the tasks can be adequately handled by others. Otherwise it is necessary oversight.
In any situation, there will always be a certain amount of management skills required of effective leaders. Those skills include efficient planning, organization and preparation. Ideally, however, a great leader lets others do the day to day managerial activities, and focuses on the vision, goals, integrity and motivational aspects truly required of effective leadership.
Richard Brody has over 30 years consultative sales, marketing, training, managerial, and operations experience. He has trained sales and marketing people in numerous industries, given hundreds of seminars, appeared as a company spokesperson on over 200 radio and television programs, and regularly blogs on real estate, politics, economics, management, leadership, negotiations, conferences and conventions, etc.
Richard has negotiated, arranged and/ or organized hundreds of conferences and conventions. Richard is a Senior Consultant with RGB Consultation Services, an Ecobroker, a Licensed Buyers Agent (LBA) and Licensed Salesperson in NYS, in real estate.
Richard Brody has owned businesses, been a Chief Operating Officer, a Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of Development, as well as a consultant. Richard has a Consulting Website ( http://tinyurl.com/rgbcons ); a blog ( http://tinyurl.com/rgbstake ); and can be followed on Twitter.