WHO’S MINDING THE STORE?

“Management is the foundation of all good leadership. Management keeps things going so leadership can keep things growing. “- JSP

So much has been written about leadership in the past thirty years that some people believe that leadership is the “end all” in all things business.

John Maxwell is known for his statement, “everything rises and falls on leadership,” and one of the most important responsibilities that all good leaders execute well is identifying and employing good managers. I don’t believe one is more important than the other, it takes both to succeed.

I believe that great managers reach their potential because great leaders recognize, identify, and trust them to run their organizations. On the other hand, great leaders can reach their full potential because of those great managers who skillfully “mind the store” entrusted to them.

According to BusinessDictionary.com, “Management is the organization and coordination of the activities of a business in order to achieve defined objectives.” The manager is responsible for overseeing and directing an organization’s personnel and daily operations.

Commenting on management, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch states, “Focus on a few key objectives … I only have three things to do. I have to choose the right people, allocate the right number of dollars, and transmit ideas from one division to another with the speed of light. So, I’m really in the business of being the gatekeeper and the transmitter of ideas.”

Leaders and Managers

Great leaders know two things; first, they need to be highly proficient with managing themselves. Second, they need highly skilled managers to manage their companies. Not all leaders make great managers, neither do all managers make great leaders. The healthy balance of both qualities makes leaders and managers assets to any organization and fulfills a vision when they function within their strengths.

Good leaders and managers alike always add value to people through the positive influence of a good example driven by good character; it’s still the gold standard of both leadership and management. Whether we’re leading or managing, our influence should be an empowering and equipping experience for those who work with us.

Good leaders do the things that keep them aligned with their purpose and vision one objective at a time; they choose capable managers who see to it that key personnel are executing plans as designed. Peter Drucker says, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Three Simple Helps for Those Minding the Store

“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.” – John Rockefeller

1. Help Your People to Focus

Instead of having a staff of multitaskers with each one working under several deadlines hanging over their heads, help them to prioritize in the order of importance and focus on one task at a time. Good managers keep things moving by channeling the flow of work according to daily priorities. Those priorities are often divided into several steps that can be easily handled one at a time and still meet deadlines with less stress.

2. Help Your People to Manage Their Time

Making the best use of our time requires an accurate understanding of what needs to be done and when?

  1. Clarify what you need to get done.
  2. What time frame is required to accomplish it?
  3. How many people are required to work on it?
  4. Who are the right people for this project? Assemble your team.
  5. Describe the purpose of the project, the time frame, and the expected outcome.

3. Help Your People See the Why in All They Do

Understanding how their job descriptions are aligned with your organization’s purpose helps them see the part they play in the overall vision and purpose of the company. It’s always empowering to know how your efforts contribute to the overall success of the company. In addition, being as specific as possible establishes clear directions for achieving particular results and rewards; this makes your team’s efforts much more meaningful.

Question: So, in the final analysis, who’s minding the store?
Answer: Highly gifted innovative managers hired by talented insightful leaders. As a team they make the world a better place bursting with new opportunities for future leaders and managers.

“Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” – Paul Hawken

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