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Management Vs Leadership

Are your managers cleaning fan blades?!

One of the most frequent requests I get is from Company C.E.Os. / M.D.s who want assistance in making better managers out of their managers. And on almost every occasion I find that these managers have the wrong job description.

Not that they are in the wrong job, rather they are spending their time on the wrong things in that job. It is a widely believed urban myth that a managers’ primary job is to deal with staff issues, handle complaints, resolve conflict, chase up supply problems, fix broken things and yes, generally react when the $#!t hits the fan!

But aren’t people normally elevated into management roles because of their expertise, their specific skills & knowledge, and their ability to lead people and projects? So whilst I admit that even on my best day I do some ‘fan cleaning’ activities, here are 5 ‘jobs’ that not only ought to take precedence, but by focusing on them, you’ll find the fans will need far less Mr Sheening.

  1. Commit regular, ongoing and quality time to developing individuals’ skills, knowledge and beliefs
  2. Sit down, ask questions, shut up, listen. Learn from your team. Ask what’s working and why? What’s not and what do they feel ought to be done better or different next time.
  3. Provide responsibility. It is a measure of Trust. But with Responsibility comes Accountability. One cannot exist without the other
  4. Focus on getting the very best person for any vacancy onto the bus. There is no (viable) excuse for cutting corners when recruiting
  5. Allow team members to be part of the solution to the problems. And if you do the other 4 ‘jobs’ regularly and well, then this last job will happen almost automatically…

And if you every catch yourself saying (or thinking) ‘But I haven’t got time to do that stuff’… consider what you are really saying is ‘I haven’t got time to sharpen my axe! I’m far too busy chopping trees!’ Hmmmm…

Yours in Fun & Prosperity

Jeff Austin
Actual to Ideal Bunbury
Business Improvement

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