A couple of weeks ago, I was asked the question about Leaders and Managers, and what you should be. The answer is both. In management models, they live side by side and must work together. Our 6 pillars of Sales Management is no exception, the 3 cornerstones of Sales Management are Management – Leadership – Development in our model.
Leader or Manager? Both!
Management and Leadership are necessary and complementary. In his 1990 Harvard Business Review article “What Leaders Really Do,” John P. Potter argues that management and leadership are both crucial for the success of executives as they advance in their careers.
The myth of the born leader
One of the most prevalent misconceptions in the business world today is that there is a competition between leadership and management, and that only leadership will take you where you want to go. Often leadership is thought to be all about charisma and vision – and that it is something you are born with and into. Leadership is different from management, but it’s not about having a certain personality or being chosen by a higher power.
Leadership skills are not there from birth, some personality traits may make it easier for you to develop them, but they can certainly be acquired, developed and fine-tuned by anyone!
It is true that many larger companies today have too much management and structures and often lack the space and energy to develop the right leadership. They need to develop their leadership skills by identifying people with potential and giving them opportunities to grow. However, it’s important to remember that strong leadership alone is not enough and needs to be balanced with strong management. Both leadership and management are necessary for success in business. A successful company needs both strong leadership and strong management to thrive.
Leadership is about dealing with change and being able to inspire and guide others to work towards a vision. Management, on the other hand, is about dealing with complexity and keeping the day-to-day operations running smoothly.
Management skills, such as planning, organizing, and controlling, are essential for maintaining the day-to-day operations of a company. However, leadership skills, such as visioning, inspiring, and guiding, are necessary for creating and implementing a strategy that will take the company to the next level.
The leader vs Manager roles
The role of the leader is to provide direction and set the course for the organization, while the role of the manager is to ensure that the organization is running smoothly and efficiently.
The best leaders are those who can balance these two roles effectively, by being able to both lead and manage. Potter writes that “good leaders are good managers, but good managers are not necessarily good leaders.”
Daniel Coleman’s 2004 article “What Makes a Leader” also emphasizes the importance of both leadership and management skills for success in the business world.
Leadership is more needed than ever
Coleman notes that the role of the leader has become increasingly important in recent years as the business environment has become more competitive and more volatile. He states that leaders must be able to create a vision for the future and inspire others to work towards that vision. At the same time he emphasizes the importance of management skills, stating that managers must be able to plan, organize, and control the day-to-day operations of the organization, in order to ensure that it is running smoothly and efficiently.
What makes a leader?
The article identifies the traits and characteristics of successful leaders. He argues that effective leaders have a combination of:
- emotional intelligence, EQ- self-awareness, self-control, motivation, empathy, and social skills, which allow leaders to connect with and inspire their employees.
- cognitive intelligence, IQ – strategic thinking and problem-solving, which allow leaders to make effective decisions.
- technical or subject expertise in their field – allows leaders to understand the industry and the challenges their company faces.
Learn from mistakes
Coleman also emphasizes the importance of adaptability and the ability to learn from failure in leadership. He states that leaders who are able to adapt to changing circumstances and learn from their mistakes are more likely to be successful.
Companies should actively seek out people with leadership potential, give them opportunities to grow and use both strong leadership and strong management to balance each other. As a matter of fact, there are multiple facets of management that needs continuous evaluation, development and perfection. Below you will find an image collection that points to the function of our 6 Pillars of Sales Management. Enjoy!