Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

3 minutes reading time (693 words)

Knowing The Difference Between Leadership and Management

 (Nov/Dec 09)

Leadership and management are often thought to be the same. If someone is a manager, it is assumed they are also a leader. From my experience, I have not found this to be true. Though both are vital to the success of any business, leadership and management are two different roles and often a good manager is not a good leader and vice-versa....

Leadership and management are often thought to be the same. If someone is a manager, it is assumed they are also a leader. From my experience, I have not found this to be true. Though both are vital to the success of any business, leadership and management are two different roles and often a good manager is not a good leader and vice-versa.

This may be hard to swallow for some but even people who own a business may not qualify as a manager or leader. Many successful owners hire great managers and leaders to run their business. Sure, they may carry the core vision but managing and inspiring people to want to grow the business may not be their strength.
I read once that you manage things and you lead people. This I feel embraces the difference between the two.
Managing is about doing 'things' well, setting procedures and policies, writing up job descriptions, creating marketing plans, cleaning, scheduling, ordering, merchandising, payroll, etc. It is about setting up good systems, being organized and getting things done to build a healthy, productive business.
Leadership is about having the 'right people' in the right job while focusing on trust, emotion, purpose, inspiration, praise, gratitude, vision, hope and understanding. Leadership is more about finding what people are best at, bringing out their best and helping them develop their skills so they contribute their best to the business.
A successful business requires a diverse group of people with strengths in many different areas: customer service, buying, selling, computers, merchandising, administrative and finance.
I know at first in smaller businesses, you do everything even though some of the jobs may not be your favourites or be one of your strengths. My suggestion is whenever you hire someone new, hire someone to do what you are not good at or do not enjoy.
If you want to take a test to discover your strengths or those of your staff, check out this website: www.strengthsfinder.com
Many companies now have people take a strength/personal assessment test before hiring, as interviews often are not the best way to determine if the person is qualified for the position.

Procedures and policies will never overcome a lack of willingness....

I was recently at a very busy health food store and was asked, 'How do we deal with staff that does not respond when we call for more help on cash?' Good question, especially because your checkout is the most vital area for customer satisfaction. All the great service a customer has before getting to the checkout is quickly forgotten if the service at the checkout is slow, unappreciative or disorganized.
The answer, though, is quite simple. If you have a policy that 'everyone drop what they are doing when help is needed at the checkout,' then everyone should comply. If a person does not respond, then it really comes down to two things – they need further training to understand the importance of the policy or if they understand the policy but still do not respond, they are unwilling to follow your policy. The first reason can simply be fixed with further training. The willingness issue, however, is a bigger problem because if they are unwilling to follow this policy, what other things in their job are they unwilling to do? If someone is unwilling to do what is asked of them, then the only solution is to replace them or accept that they will do what they feel like. This is not a culture that creates a good example for the entire team or customers.
One last thought: "People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies." Blair Warren from the book Buying Trances by Joe Vitale. •

 

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News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.

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