Leaders challenge the status quo. Managers maintain it.
Managers believe they have “been there and done it” and it cannot be done any better so they therefore are negative.
Leaders believe there are people that can do things better than them, and they actively find ways to surround themselves with people like that, and encourage them to do better -so they are therefore positive.
But leaders are more than positive, they are game changers.
They challenge the status quo naturally because they believe things can be better and they push to find those better ways.
Mangers drive to hit benchmarks. Leaders drive to create personal bests.
Leaders think long term and share that vision. If you’re not sharing a vision of what someone’s life could be like, you’re not leading. Be it a customers life improved from the service or products you provide, your staffs future painted before them as a door they can walk through if they work on themselves – leaders share the vision. Vision inspires. It gives hope. With hope comes belief. But hope and belief are not enough. You must have a strategy. Leaders plan like this. They build futures. Futures people can believe in. Belief and strategy changes lives.
Managers think short term. They think in consequences and are constantly aware of the pitfalls of coming up short on their targets and budgets. But you can be in a position of management and still lead. The leadership is seeing beyond the budget and sharing a vision of believable possibility. That’s how you inspire salespeople. That’s how last years PB’s become this year base benchmarks.
It’s easy to criticize this hope. But criticism doesn’t create PB’s. Managers criticise. Leaders give feedback and coach.
Managers see things as they are. Leaders see things as they could be – and work out a plan to make it happen, and believe in it until it actually does happen.
If managers continue to maintain the status quo there will be no progress.
If leaders continue to challenge the status quo, we get progress, but do we continue to need managers?
Is the future of managers on borrowed time? Will the future be leadership at all levels?
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.