Leader or Manager

4 Signs to identify a Leader over a Manager

“Stop Managing Your Employees and Start Leading Them”…writes Jacob Kache, earlier this year….

…and right he is!

There are generally not many natural-born leaders and when you find yourself put into a leadership position by default, developing leadership skills is one of the most important things for you to learn

We’ve pulled these 4 Signs to identify a leader from a Manager from an article published earlier in the year by Jacob Kache in Businesss2Business

1. Leaders Don’t “Tell,” They “Do”

Simply managing people is not leadership. The major difference is that a manager will want to delegate and work out how the team should be doing things. Leaders will lead by example and do it themselves first. It’s not about rules and regulations, it’s about pulling the team together by giving and being the example

2. Leaders Aren’t Afraid of Change

Great leaders are ready for change when the times or circumstances so demand. Leaders will recognize those times and be ahead of change. It’s in the type of culture a leader creates that change becomes part of progress

3. Leaders Do What Needs to Be Done

Great leaders will know when it’s time to do the right thing over simply going along with others. Tough decisions are made by what is best for all and for the long term. There is no blame but taking on the responsibility for a true leader

4. Leaders Lead People, Managers Manage Affairs

I really like what Jacob wrote for this sign:

Managers know the importance of the job that they do. They realize that they are in charge of making sure that things get done, and producing good results. But leaders recognize that results are brought about by productive workplace, and more specifically, a group of individuals. Each individual on the team, each employee in the company, is a unique person with unique needs, and crucially, unique skills

Definitely something I’ve always experienced and followed

We hope this gives you an insight on the difference between a Manager and a Leader and you can shape yourself to the one you need to show right now

Employee Turnover

The Hidden Costs of loosing Employees

It is generally known that costs associated with staff turnover are great but do you know where you feel it most?

Here are 5 areas deeply affected by staff leaving and how you can avoid it

1. Less Productivity

How are you going to manage the workload the leaving employee did? By simply putting the tasks on to other employees you may find they are becoming less productive as they have now more to do than they can handle and important work might be left behind – Make sure you’re clear on what will need to be put in place BEFORE an employee leaves you or you dismiss someone

2. More Work than they can handle

If existing employees have to stretch themselves to do more quality may go out the window…attitude is likely to suffer and what is saved in wages for one may become expensive in lost good will and loyalty to the business – Direct extra workload thoughtfully and make sure you give extra praise to those doing more

3. Knowledge lost

Probably a lot of people can do what the lost employee did but….do they have the very specific knowledge, the attitude and care and some unique ways of handling it? Writing code, or selling your product is only one part, it’s also about knowing the people, the traditions, the location of relevant information, what the boss likes and a million other things that come from working for a business for a long period of time – Creating processes can be helpful in this case, with notes on all details

4. The Costs of Training

Whether it’s the cost of sending a new employee to training sessions or for you or your managers to make the time to train someone new…extra time and therefore costs of training. And with new employees learning, someone has to check it gets done right – A very hard to avoid extra cost

5. Cost of Interviewing new potential Employees

If you do this yourself, it’ll eat into your time and cost what you could have achieved otherwise. If you use a recruiting agency then the costs are with that and you may or may not get a suitable new employee the first time




Top Employees

Hang On To Top Employees

The best way to keep your top employees is to know them better than they know themselves. Use this knowledge to create the career of their dreams, and they’ll stick to your company like glue. The new “biz-speak” for this is called Job Sculpting.

Top Employees








The concept of Job Sculpting as defined by career experts, Timothy Butler and James Waldroop, in the Harvard Business Review, is that good people will stay only in jobs that “fit their deeply embedded life interests—that is their long-held emotionally driven passions.”

To adopt this strategy, spend a lot of effort listening to your company stars. For each one of them, try to identify what life interests are dominant with them, and then offer them the assignments that satisfy this interest. It may mean simply adding another assignment to the existing responsibilities, or it may mean switching one set of tasks to another employee. It may even require moving your “star” employee to a different position altogether.

To learn what kind of interests you’re looking and listening for, use these

8 identifiable areas:

  1. Application of technology
  2. Quantitative analysis ability
  3. Theory development and conceptual thinking
  4. Creative production
  5. Counselling and mentoring
  6. Managing people and relationships
  7. Enterprise control
  8. Influence through language and ideas

If you have a top employee who has been working in the area of customer service, but lately seems dissatisfied, after talking with him/her you might learn they would rather be dealing with the vendors. Your star might be just the answer you’re looking for to find that latest innovative product that could be added to your stock (conceptual thinking), and employee B would rather interact with the customers. By a simple switch of responsibilities, you have two happy employees that feel they’re now contributing to your business and not just putting in time for a pay

It’s always more cost effective for the business, and better for employee morale to keep your existing employees happy with their careers. It takes a toll on your business when you have to fill an empty employee spot with a newcomer who has to be trained in the way your company functions.

Time is money, and time used to train a brand new employee is the highest cost of doing business. However, the time spent by you to find out what will keep your top producers happy to be working for you – is the best investment you can make in your business.



Walking Management

Management by Walking Around

The MBWA method is a management concept that has gotten a lot of “buzz” and popularity in the last decade or so because it is part of a business model for cultural change within the enterprise that has proven successful in a lot of businesses. The original concept was created by David Packard during the early days of the Hewlett Packard organization, a Silicon Valley company that was well known for its loyal and highly creative employee base that seemed to achieve levels of productivity and employee satisfaction far beyond the norm.

“The HP Way” which the “management by walking around” method was a part of was based on the concept that employees, particularly the subject matter experts in their fields, are capable of being part of the problem solving process and that a team approach to creating new business ideas and innovate ways to solve problems was far superior to the “top down” approach of management coming up with all the answers and dictating them to a mindless but obedient staff.

Packard was a believer in the open space, no walls and easy access to management corporate culture that MBWA exemplifies. By enabling frequent and unscheduled interactions between employees and between management and staff, new ideas were given maximum opportunity to be birthed and encouragement to be developed which leads to a more responsive and flexible business culture and one that has a robust approach to growth and change.

In order to implement MBWA, the manager must embrace the concept of a flexible and relaxed relationship with staff. The details of the method that MBWA promotes is summed up nicely in the title, management by walking around. It suggests that instead of only meeting with employees at scheduled times in formal settings away from other employees or in a staff meeting where the agenda is published in advance, many opportunities for employees to talk to management are encouraged. When the supervisor or manager walks freely amongst the employees throughout their work day, the opportunity to ask questions and to interact about new ideas the employees are considering is frequent. From those unscheduled and frequent visits as the manager walks from cubicle to cubicle, great concepts can be birthed which can then be nurtured into new product ideas or novel solutions to problems.

However, if the relationship between management and employee is formal, based on fear or intimidation or not otherwise grounded in warmth and friendship, the MBWA system will go from a powerful method of collaborative problem solving to a tremendous nightmare for everybody. You don’t want your employees dreading your “drop in” visits and seeing their productivity drop as you enter their work space because they are so concerned with impressing and serving management that they dislike your arrival in their world. It is amazing how quickly a network of employees can detect and set up an early warning system when the manager is walking around so everybody “gets ready” for what they perceive will be an unpleasant sudden visit by management.

To avoid this, the supervisor should in other ways foster a relaxed relationship with staff. The employee must feel free to discuss issues and questions openly with management without fear of being scoffed at, mocked, belittled or punished. Many a company has generated a “HP Way” concept that comes out of the human resources department that amounts to little more than color posters on the wall and a suggestion box but nothing changes in the corporate culture or how each manager interacts with the staff. Employees are quick to notice the hypocrisy of such a program and the result is management because an object of ridicule instead of inspiration.

By making your visits enjoyable, a welcome experience and one where the employee doesn’t fear your arrival, you can expect outstanding results from the MBWA method. And you will know you have achieved true change in your corporate culture when not only do you walk around to visit employees but employees “drop in” on you by walking around if for no other reason than to share a joke or a donut.

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