Are you a manager or a leader?
By Diana Spurgus
- Managers set standards for performance; a leader sets a benchmark for excellence. Do you dictate a status quo or do you paint a picture of what the ideal is? Do you merely communicate what’s acceptable or do you encourage exceptional?
- Managers want employee compliance; leaders seek employees’ commitment. Let’s say you decide to streamline a process. To do so, you purchase new software. Do you just provide training on how to use the software or do you work on communicating the reasons why you’re doing it so employees willingly and happily dive into training?
- Managers have subordinates over whom they have formal authority; leaders have followers who are inspired to perform at their best. Leaders recognize that continual improvement in all aspects of their business is critical to their success.
- Managers try to avoid risks or minimize them; a leader looks for opportunities. Maybe it’s an investment in a new technology, or a decision to expand your business. Whatever the case, managers will tell you why it won’t work. Leaders will tell you why it can.
- Managers enforce rules and policies; leaders challenge red tape and bureaucracy when necessary. Sure, you should have and enforce an acceptable use policy for your computers. But if any of your policies prevent someone from helping a customer or generating sales, put on your leadership hat and throw that rule away.
Voice of the Editor
What makes a company a great place to work? Experience, a ConnectEDU company, uses criteria that include benefits, career advancement opportunities, culture, and work/life balance to form its annual list of the Best Places to Work for Recent Grads. BDO USA and Ernst & Young both made the Top 25 list. Read what makes these firms stand out and find out what can be done at your firm to entice college grads.