Easy methods to Balance Leadership and Management

“Anyone can hold the helm when the ocean is calm.” ~ Publilius Syrus

This could be true, but small business owners are expected to “hold the helm” through both calm and rough seas. So when for those who lead and when if you happen to manage?

As people, we’d like leaders. Whether it’s the President of the us, a spiritual leader or the “head” of your loved ones – we glance to leaders to lead us through difficult or uncertain times, to set an example, and to demand a high level of ethics from those around us.

Leaders also inspire us. In business, leaders provide direction and help employees understand their role in executing strategy (or getting the business to where it should be). Leaders also steer and empower employees because the business grows and new opportunities arise.

Managers, however, are all about execution. Think about managers because the undercarriage of the business. a great manager ensures employees are kept on task, have the data and tools they should do their jobs (or execute strategy), and are there to step in and resolve problems. Managers also keep employees motivated, conduct performance reviews and assume the role of keeping the operations side of commercial on target.

If you’re running a small business, you should be both a pace-setter and a manager. The trick is figuring out when your employees need you to steer and once they need you to control.

To Lead or to regulate?

Leadership and management is a sensitive balancing act. While it’s important to not lose sight of day-to-day operations, you don’t want get too caught up inside the weeds and lose sight of your goals. Below are a couple of the right way to allow you to balance leadership and management.

Communicate Your Vision

“The very essence of leadership is you must have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully whenever. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”

So said Reverend Theodore Hesburgh, former President Emeritus at Notre Dame. And it’s true. Clear and honest communication is a must for effective leadership. Whether you’re communicating your goals for the quarter or conducting a performance review, employees want to know:

  • Where they stand.
  • What you require of them.
  • How they’re able to get there.

Setting milestones is a superb approach to try this. In case you have a vision, communicate it. But make sure to back it up with concrete, measurable steps if you want to help guide your team towards achieving your goals and theirs.

Let Go

Show your employees that you simply trust them by delegating responsibility. After they have direction from you, trust them to follow through and reward them once they do. Giving employees ownership of tasks or projects is hugely motivating. Letting go also involves giving your employees decision-making authority.

For example, in case you operate a retail business, give team members the authority to spend as much as $100 of company money to resolve a customer problem without needing to invite. Most problems could be solved with $100, whether it’s re-shipping a present or refunding – and employees don’t need to come to you to invite.

Listen, Engage, Mentor

One easy approach to help achieve the above points is to place aside day-to-day distractions and schedule one-on-one time with staff, solicit their input and listen. Regular staff meetings that encourage input and provides you a chance to share business goals and achievements are vital to building engagement, trust and improved communication.

Mentor relationships also are great easy methods to get to grasp your staff and aid in everyone’s personal development.

Leadership Photo via Shutterstock

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