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April 11, 2011 at 3:06 pm #140203Jedi_PhoenixModerator
First, I would recommend going here: http://instituteforjedirealiststudies.org/smf/index.php?topic=1928.0 as Kol does a great job outlining and summarizing the difference between management and leadership…and will be a lot easier to follow than my ramblings lol.
However, in general I have found that while some of the traits of leadership and management overlap, such as having shared values with your team, being positive, and trying to encourage change for the better; it can be very draining as I said earlier to do both at the same time, let alone constantly switch between the two hats.
I’ve found I had to come into work several times this week and first get my lay out of the land, I had to know the staff I was working with for the day, the party load, if there were any foreseen potential issues, etc. Based on this assessment I would know which hat to put on lol. My basic line of thought is either, if we are doing great with our parties, I put on my leadership hat; enable others to continue doing great work; and make myself seen, but not needed. I love that quote that I already put in here earlier that the best days are when I don’t have to use my position. For me this is so true, when I can come into work and help others with their goals; but go one step further by trying to coach them through problem solving and time management, those are the best shifts, and those I would consider more leadership than management.
That’s not to say management does not do those things, but I see a manager more as a person of more ‘standing’. Often times I hear one of two things on the walkie: Can I have David come to place A, or can I have a manager to place A. From these two statements I can already mentally prep myself for how I need to be perceived from the moment I enter place A. IF they need David, its often they have a quick question; if they need a manager, it often means that a task is falling behind, there is a problem with a child/parent, or any other number of issues. A manager is usually called because after the staff have already tried to front the issue themselves (which I mostly encourage) they need someone of authority to put down the final law. Obviously, I try to be as considerate and assertive as possible. I try to find a middle ground that is both appeasing to the parent and doesn’t hurt the company budget or image. Sometimes this is near impossible, sometimes the solution just happens to be in plain sight and is an easy fix.
I feel as a leader that when handling issues, the mindset of what I have learned a leader to be can be quite…inefficient. Leaders are there to inspire, encourage, coach, lead, etc. Leaders do not have to be only managers, and thus the status of management does not mean you are an effective leader. But I think it is good that way. The two, while holding similar traits are far from synonymous. Sometimes, you need JUST a manager; but other times, you need a leader, someone to raise morale, to make you feel heard, etc. A manager can do these things, but often times, they have other goals in mind, or have bigger focuses to attend to.
Now that being said, I think this is why I am so burnt out already, so confused, and so torn. I want to be both, I feel there is a balance to both, but at the same time, while trying to create this balance I feel that there are ripple effects starting to happen; ie I’m having trouble maintaining a leadership image with some staff that have constantly seen me in manager mode. And then there are several problem staff that I have tried to encourage and face issues as a leader, manager status aside; but that might require me to act as a manager. And I CAN and WILL do it should it come to that. But I also understand that humans are not one or two dimensional. Everyone has their own image and idea of what they need from a manager, so while I may feel that I have adjusted my hat according to the situation, that can be off-putting for the staff members. Which means, regardless of what I am, leader, manager or otherwise; there is one basic trait that everyone needs to learn, one that I have just been harping on with myself, and trying to get others to see that….and it is communication.
Lol, I know, I know, I help teach the class and I was in love with the class ever since I started it, but its so true; its amazing to me. I just sat in the office during the end of one of my shifts and just watched how the staff talked to each other..and they don’t even HEAR themselves. As a leader, I want to mentor every single person…as a manager I want to create solutions and quick. And in the end, another common trait: how to discern how to act. Every action leads to an equal and opposite reaction: whether its the diffusion of an issue, or the harboring of emotions from some one feeling slighted. The other is balance. I’m trying to show my owner that I can be an effective manager AND leader. But I understand that he does not favor leadership as much as he once said he did. He does not seem to notice those traits; and probably rightfully so. He is business oriented, and he sees the bottom line. As a ‘manager’ he expects us to help increase his bottom line; as a leader, I try to increase his productivity of the staff, but this seems to go unnoticed. However, its only been a few weeks of me being a manager, so I have to give it time for everything to settle in; and I think his bottom line will thank me for it
So maybe I should ask all you: Should you balance trying to be a leader and a manager? Is it possible? How? Do you see leadership and management as synonymous, or two separate entities all together? I’m always open to learning and new knowledge…after all “there is no ignorance, there is only knowledge.” And knowledge is definitely my ally in this case!!!
In any case, I always take everything as a learning opportunity. No matter where you are on this path, everyone has something to contribute. I knew from January that this would be my new task, my new challenge and opportunity. I ‘foresaw’ it, if you will. I had my break from then til now, so I’m gearing up with knowledge and experiences and time; and I have a feeling this will be instrumental to my future.April 28, 2011 at 8:57 pm #158865StryseParticipant
I’ve had managers who were good leaders, and managers who were not. Personally, I have little need for management. I can self-manage just fine, thank you. Yet, its a needed function in any organization.
Leadership is also a needed function, and something I think really ought to be cultivated in managers and individual contributors alike. I want leaders at work, as its not exacly the Stryse show around here.
Personally speaking, you’ll not find me overly confident of a manager that is not also a leader… so I’ll go with yes, you should seek to be both, and that necessitates some balance.
You’ll have to make managerial decisions that might conflict with your decision if you were purely in a leadership role. In the business world, the managers are tasked with managing the business… keeping things running, and ultimately that the work is getting done. Hopefully they’re part of the organization’s leadership as well.. as the leadership makes decisions that can impact the managers direct-reports in doing their jobs efficiently and effectively. (How often have you had a decision come down from higher up that ‘broke’ a business process or otherwise led to more work on the part of you and/or your staff?)
I have a hunch you’re going to grow into a fine manager. Leadership you already do well (though I’m sure you’ll continue to improve on that as well.)April 29, 2011 at 3:48 am #158896Jedi_PhoenixModerator
Interesting take….I’m still “studying” it I guess, and even reading over my past post, I already see that I disagree with somethings, so maybe the learning curve or growing pains were throwing me off? I dunno.
I do find that leadership is something that could be balanced with management, and once I got that recognition at work the other day, there was that sense of relief, but it does require work. lol Hm, I’m still working on it though, I’ll definitely keep this post up to date if I learn anything..May 2, 2011 at 10:15 pm #159027Jedi_PhoenixModerator
So the past weekend, I was stuck with two closing shifts. In a way, I like these shifts a lot, since this is where I really get to practice leadership vs management. Unfortunately, our owner is not very on the mark with what happens during a closing shift…he thinks it all goes down one way, but it really happens another way. I appreciate where he is coming from, but its just not realistic.
Even after all the managers have constantly approached him about this, we are still only given a set amount of time to close down our facility and get everyone off the clock. Its interesting for me though because every manager does it different. The standards vary, the expectations vary, the leadership varies, etc.
For me, I found that I couldn’t maintain leadership. I couldn’t enable others or teach or explain why. I am beating myself up about it a bit, but at the same time, I’m trying to evaluate it so that I can do better next time. For me, I allowed the pressures and unrealistic expectations of the owner overwhelm me. What I should of realized was I had two newer staff working that night, who needed guidance and teaching, which DOES involved going over our designated end time. I think I need to stick more to my guns about my leadership abilities. I’ve studied it, and I continue to study it for a reason, it work! what I need to figure out is how to get other’s to freaking clean and ‘take pride in cleaning’ (not easy with teenagers).
Definitely a chore for me…suggestions?May 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm #159028AnonymousQuote:what I need to figure out is how to get other’s to freaking clean and ‘take pride in cleaning’ (not easy with teenagers).
I think the whole pride thing is what ruins it.
It’s a job that needs be done and that is it.
Youngsters have a very free and unadulterated mind to do anything without being interested in…
It may not be helpful, just some thoughts.May 3, 2011 at 2:01 am #159032Jedi_PhoenixModerator
And to a point, that is very true. I see that in the manager column. Do what has to be done, in the time alloted. nothing wrong with that. And to be honest, going 15 minutes over isn’t killer, but better to save time if possible.
As a leader, though, trying to find innovative solutions is my goal =]May 3, 2011 at 8:51 pm #159117StryseParticipant
I was raised that one should take pride in what they do, or rather, to ensure the quality of one’s work is something to take pride in. I suppose a bit contradictory to a Jedi’s sensibility.
But you can’t force it. You can set the standards by which the job is to be done, and the expectations of when it will be done, that sort of thing. (Managerial.) How they feel about it is completely on them. That said, a leader can certainly work to inspire others to take pride in their work, step up their game, or whatever the goal may be. In business, I try and play to the competitive nature of Americans. “So and so did a really great job cleaing out that fridge last week. It’s still sparkling!” Depends on your people I guess, but sometimes such public recognition motivates the next person to do as good a job (they don’t want to look bad…), if not one-up the last person. Contests are used a lot around here to inspire our staff to perform better.
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