There are two basic skills required in building and running a business: leadership and management. If a business has strong leadership but weak management, it will be strategic, big-picture and people oriented. If it has strong management but weak leadership, it will be tactical, practical and task-oriented.
The opposite is also true. If a business has a weak leadership, it will get caught up in the daily grind of activities and lose sight of the big picture. If it has a weak management, it will get caught up in big-thinking and won’t be able to carry out the daily actions that all businesses require to succeed and thrive.
What kind of a business are you? Obviously, most businesses probably fall in between two the extremes of the spectrum. But pondering the question allows you to think about the traits and qualities of management and leadership. Once you have a firm grasp on those traits and qualities, you can pinpoint leadership gaps in your business and do what you need to do to develop the missing qualities.
What’s more? The tone of a business is set by those who run the business. In most mid-size organizations up to a few hundred employees, this person is also the founder or the owner. So for the sake of the business’ success, it’s imperative that the people at the top have a firm grasp of the leadership and management qualities they possess.
It’s rare for one person to have both leadership and management skills. Most of the time, a person is one or the other. Unfortunately, most people see this as a deficiency that needs to be “fixed.” There is certainly value in recognizing one’s weaknesses and strengths, both as a leader and a manager. But in my experience, a better alternative to “developing” the required skills is to find or bring-in those qualities in people around you.
In other words, it’s easier to find leadership and management traits and nurture them than trying to “develop” them where they don’t exist in the first place. It’s not an accident that most successful businesses have at least two people in their leadership teams that complement each other. Apple had Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. Disney had Walt Disney and Roy Disney. Microsoft had Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. Berkshire Hathaway has Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger.
The best place to start, perhaps, is find out where you stand. Are you predisposed to being a leader or a manager? Knowing yourself first allows you to get to learn what exactly these functions mean from a more visceral, experiential perspective. With this knowledge, you can then go about making sure that the required management and leadership qualities exist in your business.
I have developed a quick test that helps you figure out whether you are predominantly a leader or a manager. It takes about 5 minutes, is free and compares traits, characteristics and qualities of leaders and managers. Click here to take this test.
Want to find out how your Leadership and Management function stacks up against all the other functions in your business? Take Business Health Check, AQ by Awayre, LLC. It’s free too and comes with a 24-page Strategy Handbook to analyze your business from a totally different perspective than what you may have been accustomed to. Click here to get started.
Copyright 2013 Bhavesh Naik. All rights reserved.
Bhavesh Naik is the Founder and Creative Director of Awayre, LLC, a management consulting and human resource development firm specializing in activating the hidden power of a business process by engaging its people’s awareness. Awayre, LLC is a pioneer in bringing human awareness to the field of management and human resource development as its structural and fundamental component.