Industry insights for job seekers and employers.

Management is a Role. Leadership is an Act

Workers need managers who can define their purpose and contribution within the context of the company vision and goals, according to the Wall Street Journal. An effective manager can organize workers but also communicate the reasons behind company decisions and strategy. In doing so, workers can derive purpose and meaning from their role as an employee.

A manager who leads effectively is also interested in the professional development and well-being of the team. Supporting the team instills trust and encourages loyalty and a desire by participants to be productive. In the current economy, the role of a manager is not separate from that of leader. A manager used to organize work, assign roles, record results, and ensure that tasks were done. However, where manufacturing skills were once the required traits required by many workers, knowledge is now the main commodity in many workplaces.

Vineet Nayar of Harvard Business Review provides some guidelines that can help a manager to discern if effective leadership is reflected in a management style.

  • Create value rather than count value. An illustrative example is a manager who requests that an employee report on productivity at regular intervals. This manager is not creating value but is adding to the work of the employee. In contrast, a leader creates value by providing better tools that the employee needs to complete the task and by trusting that the employee will do so.
  • Use influence as opposed to power in relationships. A manager with power will use that power to complete tasks. A leader, rather than exerting control over others, will find that others approach her for advice. If empowered, employees may take their own initiative in completing tasks. With motivation from an effective leader, employees may demonstrate innovation without the need to be micro-managed or controlled.
  • Communicate and invite staff to provide feedback. This strategy can provide a manager with valuable information for improving processes. It can also inform the manager of worker requirements that will enable them to do a better job. Workers may require better tools, training, flexibility in working arrangements to relieve home and work pressures, or additional temporary help during times of high productivity.

Without a relationship based on communication, trust, and transparency, both leading and managing will be met with resistance and prove an up-hill slog.

Contact a Staffing Service USA professional for your temporary and permanent staffing needs, and focus on leading your team to success.

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