What’s best, management or leadership development? Where should I put my energies?
Good leaders are really important. They give an organisation drive, focus, spirit and hope. But good leadership can’t make up for poor management. If the boss is terrific at cheering on the team, but incapable of dealing with an individual’s poor performance, then the whole team suffers. Or if the boss is great at inspiring followers but hopeless at communicating what actually needs to be done, then nothing gets done. An inspiring vision wont help a team that is at loggerheads.
“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
Management is often seen as a poor relation to leadership – certainly the price tag of leadership training and coaching would suggest that. But fundamentally managers need to manage well; to do things right. The right things, yes, but in the right place, in the right way, at the right time.
And they need to be able to manage themselves; manage their time, their critical thinking, their communication and their assertiveness.
What’s the Answer for Janet Webb Consulting?
Excellence in management can have a significant impact.
So I have nailed my colours to the mast and decided to concentrate on helping managers be great managers.
I’ve worked for really amazing managers who were shy and unassuming. And I’ve worked for poor managers who had an excess of charisma and passion. I know which I preferred and I know which environment I thrived in. It certainly wasn’t the one where we got a daily dose of guano; manure is really only good for the roses.
Imagine you were an archer. You fire your arrow and you get feedback immediately; either you hit the target or you don’t. You can adjust your technique and get instant feedback on those adjustments. In time you become better and better as an archer.
Suppose that you can’t see the target; it would be very difficult to hit and you would have no idea of the result. The only way you could tell how well you were doing was if someone, like a coach, told you.
Now suppose that they also can’t see the target – how can they give you feedback? All they could do is share with you some data about how often you fired the arrows or whether your technique looked OK or not. You might tell them how you felt; probably you would be frustrated.
Eventually the coach would stop talking about it because nothing helpful would be happening. In turn you would stop bothering and just fire off arrows in the right direction, probably as fast as possible, to get it over and done with.
Now let’s look at managing and coaching staff. How do you know if you hit the target? You probably try various things and look for feedback through outcomes and whether the member of staff looked happy or not. You might even have a discussion with your manager about how you think it is going.
But not directly paying attention to the member of staff and getting their feedback is as hopeless as firing arrows at a board and not knowing whether they hit or not. Ask your direct reports how well you are doing if you really want to improve as a manager.
Of course, if you don’t care whether you are a good manager, then that is a different problem altogether.
… to Janet Webb Consulting. I’m an independent learning & organisational development consultant, specialising in developing leadership and management skills. I mentor senior leaders who don’t need management training but do need some help. And I work with new managers who are exploring a whole new skill set. What I am interested in is how our brains work and therefore have an impact on how we behave.
Leadership and Management Development
What I chiefly focus on is developing your high fliers; those members of staff who are just great at what they do. However, they often get promoted OUT of what they do well and into a job managing bigger and bigger teams. My job is to help them make this transition. By helping them understand human behaviour and giving them some key skills, they can have a positive impact on their staff. And therefore the organisation. Consequently, together we make ripples; ripples that affect lives, businesses and communication.
My job is to help you and your team to do your stuff, by doing my stuff.
And so what is my stuff?
Supporting leaders and managers at all levels through transition
Learning design & delivery
Team building events
Coaching people in public speaking and other high octane situations
Psychometric testing for development and stretch
Sometimes, it’s helping people to do the things that they thought that they couldn’t.