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Are you a manager or a leader…or some amalgamation of both? In a Harvard Business Review blog entitled Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders, Vineet Nayar addresses the difference between leading people and managing work. Nayar notes that, “Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.”

In today’s business climate, the delineating lines between the roles and responsibilities of the leader and those of the manager can be somewhat blurred. Effective managers are responsible for leading, inspiring, influencing, encouraging and getting results from each member of their team. This can be a difficult task, as each individual has their own unique personality, work style and attitude as well as their own set of personal issues. However, the manager’s job is not to manage peoples’ attitudes, thoughts or feelings, but to objectively manage observable behavior or performance in order to get the results for which they are accountable.

Performance management is an ongoing process. The term evokes thoughts of conducting employee reviews or appraisals; however, the essence of performance management is much deeper than that. It’s about YOU–the manager–and the things you say and do to create the best possible performance from each member of your team. The actions you take in preparing your strategy and communicating your goals have a profound impact on the effort your employees exert and the results they achieve.

EDSI’s Communicating to Manage Performance Model builds on three platforms: Foundation, Communication and Climate.

The Foundation – Lay the foundation by first setting goals and expectations with each of your employees. Establishing expectations creates ownership and personal accountability and allows your employees to comprehend the essential style of working with you during short-term and long-term projects.

The Communication – Communicate clearly about your plans for the team, your expectations and your own management style. Follow up with regular, consistent and detailed communication–reinforcing behavior that is effective and redirecting behavior that is inappropriate.

The Climate – Your management style creates an internal team climate. Your use of power management skills will enable your team to feel valued and motivated to generate ideas, find solutions, take risks and employ personal accountability for results.

The importance of managing others is outlined in three ways.

  • Your observable actions and behaviors are central to how others perceive you as a manager.
  • You actions must be congruent with your words and internal core values to build trusting relationships that motivate, engage and empower your employees.
  • Your communication must be consistent, objective and proactive for others to feel valued for their contributions.

In his blog The Difference Between Managers and Leaders, Ilya Pozen, Columnist for Inc, Forbes & LinkedIn notes, “Managers and leaders are often referred to synonymously, but only leaders allow their employees to solve problems with their own insight. The truth of the matter is this: Every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should be a leader.”

An ancient proverb tells us that a Great Man led his people and the people rejoiced in all that he had done. But Great Man at His Best led the people by directing them to work productively and the people rejoiced in all that they had built. Are you more like Great Man or Great Man at His Best? Take time to reflect on your own management style from time to time to see how you measure up.

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