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Managing vs. Leading

Management and Leadership are not necessarily the same thing but they can often complement each other and provide successful results. Let’s take a look at a few differences between management and leadership.

Management: 

  • Management focus is on planning, organizing, accomplishing goals, financials, etc. 
  • Primary concerns are to accomplish organization goals. 
  • Managers follow systems, create process and procedures. 
  • They work within a structure. 
  • Managers focus on the here and now. 
  • Managers use values, policies, procedures, schedules, milestones incentives and discipline to encourage employees to achieve goals. 
  • Management can be defined with a title.


Leadership: 

  • Leadership focus is on creating culture, being effective through motivating and inspiring people.                                                                                               
  • Leaders set vision and are concerned with the what and the why. 
  • Leaders focus on the future and long term views. 
  • They innovate and see the potential of the organization. 
  • They focus on development. 
  • Leaders work to earn trust. 
  • Leaders may or may not have a title.

Peer to Supervisor Transition

Leadership is the ability to lead; the ability to guide, direct, or influence people. It is an art and a science. What kind of leader do you want to be?

Micromanagement occurs when a manager monitors or controls every aspect of the work their staff does. This managerial style can have a negative impact on the employee/leader relationship and decrease employee engagement. New managers may have a tendency to micromanage because they are used to doing the hands-on work themselves.


Confirm with your manager the expectations of the new leadership role

  • Develop a plan (usually 90 days) to acclimate you to your new role.
  • Discuss the tasks from your current job that you will continue doing until a replacement is hired, and tasks that others can fulfill.
  • Ask for suggestions to develop new skills.
  • Routinely check in to make sure that what you are doing still fits into your leadership role and if you should hand more things off or take on more tasks.
    • Review job description and role responsibilities.
    • Discuss delegating tasks.
    • Discuss adding more responsibilities.

Create an outline (with manager) to share with staff that describes how your role is different from your manager’s role. Share with staff so they are clear who to go to for what or how that relationship works so they don’t feel like they have multiple bosses and don’t know who and when to go to who.

Initiate conversations with peers prior to the move into a leadership role

  • Could be 1:1 or in a group setting.
  • Discuss things that may change.
  • Brainstorm barriers that may occur and how to overcome.
  • Ask how they would like the team to work together.
  • Talk about your vision.
  • Listen as much as you talk.
  • Ask “what can I do to make you more successful?”
  • Don’t confuse the issue by telling your prior co-workers to “not worry” and that “you won’t change.”
  • Tell them you plan on taking your new role seriously, and that you’ll need their help in making sure you do the right things. Remind them of all the ideas “we” had prior to the big move.


Working with Your Staff

Be careful not to make too many decisions for people: This is a good expectation to set from the beginning. Tell them that you expect that when they come to you that they can say what they have already tried, what challenges or barriers they have and what they are going to do next or what they want you to help with. Using an SBAR, either verbally or via email, is an effective tool for updating. Demonstrating you’re in charge doesn’t mean making a show of your newfound authority. Instead, take actions that establish your credibility and indicate how you’ll work as a boss. One-to-one rounding is beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to establish what your authority will look like to staff.
Establish Your Authority: Establishing your authority could be done when you have made a decision. Saying “I have heard a lot of great feedback and lots of input on this matter and this is the direction I feel we need to go” can show that you value their opinions, but in the end you have to make the final decision looking at everything.

Distance Yourself: Most leaders agree that you can no longer have close, personal friendships with your former peers. If you do, you may appear to be playing favorites. You don’t need to become aloof and unavailable, but you may want to attend fewer social gatherings. Or at least when you are out in a social gathering represent yourself as a leader and their boss by doing the responsible things and socialize. Be a role-model – don’t drink too much, don’t bash the organization’s leaders.

Consider organizing a team event, such as the March of Dimes Walk, as an opportunity to build your team.



There are many reasons to delegate work:

  • Shows confidence in your staff
  • Develop your staff
  • Get work done quicker and more efficiently
  • Use your time for other tasks
  • Employee engagement

Is there a project that someone else can complete?

  • It could be an opportunity for staff to learn new skills or to hone current skills.
  • Is someone an expert in the task already and could complete it quicker and easier than others?
  • Be sure to provide clear expectations.
  • Creates buy in when peers are helping with the work.

Time Savings Tips

Only attend meetings that you really need to attend or only attend portions that are relevant to your work.

  • Partner with your manager to establish what meetings are required to attend in person
  • Can you read the meeting minutes or can someone else update you?
  • Question whether you need to participate in tasks, or simply be informed of their outcomes.
  • RACI charts are great tools for project management. To learn more about RACI, complete the “RACI” e-learning.
  • Learn time saving tips for email. Learn what needs action or what can wait and how to file those.

Embrace Your New Peer Group

  • Meet and network with others in your role throughout the organization.
  • Is there a new supervisor group you can get involved with?
  • Or could you start a peer group? These are great opportunities to talk with other leaders about questions you are struggling with.
  • Volunteer for an organization-wide committee.
  • Consider meet and greets or asking another leader to go for a walk.

Continue to Develop

Ask leaders you admire for recommendations. If you ask for recommendations, follow through and close the loop with that leader. This will help build trusting relationships and shows that you are invested in your growth as a leader.

Consider a mentor – another leader you can learn from to gain:

  • Skills and knowledge specific to leadership
  • Feedback on situations that you are facing
  • Leadership perspective from someone you don’t report to
  • Ideas on navigating the organization

Click here to learn more about mentoring.

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