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Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Some people dislike the word ‘manager’ or ‘management’, simply because it seems too harsh for what it is. There is certainly an essential place for managers in business, but if you are a manager yourself then you should be aware of what leadership is all about too.

Take the employees who work for you, for example. If you asked them whether they wanted you to be a good manager or a good leader, many of them would probably choose the latter. This is because leaders are more pro-active rather than reactive. And they are also more capable of changing and driving a business forward towards more success, rather than trying to keep up with it and react as it changes in front of them.

Leadership can have profound effects on a workforce. Few people who would count themselves as merely employees will go into work with a pro-active attitude. Many of them will turn up, do their hours and then go home again.

But if you want your employees to consider themselves members of a team and to do the best they are capable of, and be a strong part of that team who can think on their feet, you need to be a leader.

So does this mean that management is dead as we know it?

Clearly it isn’t, otherwise we wouldn’t have as many managers as we do. It is merely a case of redefining that role, so that we can get the best out of it and inspire team members to do more each day than they may at present.

And in truth, it is usually a combination of effective management skills and effective leadership skills that are found in each and every successful business. So while the two skill sets are very different in many ways, they are also capable of being combined in the one role to enable the business to move forward and develop in the future.

The real question is perhaps where your strengths lie. To be a good leader you need to be able to think ahead and focus on what needs to be achieved further down the road. And you also need to be able to inspire everyone else in your team to help you get there. Leadership could never be defined as a solo role – it relies on ensuring that everyone else is with you.

And while it may be an obvious statement, it is essential to remember that if you wish to be a good manager you need to be able to manage all of the available resources effectively – whether they are human resources, financial resources or whatever.
But no matter how you see yourself, or which role comes most naturally to you, you should keep one eye firmly on your own development. By doing this you can be assured that you will be better able to nurture the people in your organisation that you are responsible for. And by doing this you will also get the results you desire in your own role.

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