Good managers run efficient organizations. Great managers develop solid teams of talented people to support and manage organizations efficiently. Good leaders identify opportunities and articulate a vision for their organizations. Great leaders project where roadblocks to those opportunities and vision may occur. Great leaders use their expertise and connections to move the road blocks out of the way to ensure their managers and teams can implement the strategies when and how they need to achieve their vision.
I’ve written the above because earlier this week, I observed “great leadership” behaviors by one of my clients. This particular business owner would never call himself “a great leader,” but he’s become one over the past few years. When I first started working with him and his management team several years ago, he had a good company: good reputation, good customer base, sound finances, but the company was weak in business processes and management depth. During the ensuing years, this client team has steadfastly devoted time to developing processes and talent. The leadership team subsequently identified challenging (but they determined) the appropriate opportunities for growth and expansion. They articulated a vision that has provided focus for the leadership team.
During our monthly coaching call this week, my client said, “Our company needs to build volume to allow us to accomplish our vision. Given my connections and understanding of this industry, this is where I can best serve the company next. My managers have the skills to run operations. They’re ready. In fact, I think I’ve been doing them a disservice by not moving on before this. I need to support them and serve this company differently now.”
I consider those thoughts and actions the thoughts and actions of a great leader. There is no ego in play here. There is no need to hold onto any particular position, title, or long-held set of “leadership” tasks or responsibilities. This business owner has simply identified what the company and team need next to allow them to move as seamlessly as possible into their future. And, he’s realized he can clear those roadblocks more quickly and effectively than traditional techniques. This business owner has realized – as the company’s leader – it’s his job to clear the road blocks that are going to hinder his team – and his company’s – success.
So what type of manager or leader are you?
- Are you a good manager who manages an efficient organization?
- Are you a great manager who develops people and processes to run efficient organizations?
- Are you a good leader who identifies opportunities and a vision? or
- Are you a great leader who leads by identifying and clearing roadblocks for your team so they can pursue the opportunities and achieve the vision you’ve targeted?
What type of manager or leader does your team need?