by John Tschohl, www.customer-service.com
Everyone who has a job has a boss/manager, but does everyonehave a leader? I never hear people complain about leaders, but every day someone somewhere complains about their boss or manager. Firstly, leadership is action, not position. Just because someone is in a role of control does not mean the person is a leader. In all my years of working with top companies I find the best leaders are typically poor managers and the best managers are typically poor leaders. All managers have to do some leading and all leaders have to do some managing. Finding the right balance for the job is what is really important. Managers are necessary and leaders are essential.
First, what is a manager? A manager is a person responsible for controlling or administering all or part of a company or similar organization. A manager is responsible for setting goals. A good manager gets employees to set goals and make sure that employees hit those goals. If employees fail to do so, the manager’s job isultimately on the line. This can cause some friction and stress in the relationship between a manager and employee. A manager’s responsibility is to legislate and regulate. A manager relies on control, control of every situation at all times. Budgets, hiring/firing, reprimanding, making lists, problem solving, following strict procedures, following strict rules, establishing agendas, allocating resources, planning, facilitating, establishing rules and procedures, and controlling potential risks.
My observations are that poor managers tend not to want to “shake the ship”. They conform to the rules and standards set up by the company. They are not thinkers but doers. Managing encompasses the use of company resources and good execution. Managers tend to manage in environments where there isn’t much change and stick to the status quo. Managers tend to be reactive and avoid conflict. They stick to rules and procedures and are uncomfortable working outside of those boundaries.” Employees are unable to make empowered decisions because they are being managed, not led.
Managers often do NOT work well with others. They implement their own guidelines and expect others to follow. Their main objective is hitting goals. Managers are guided by numbers and outcomes. Their main goal is to keep the machine moving along.
Leadership has been defined as a process through which a person influences and motivates others to get involved in accomplishment ofa particular task. A leader is completely different from a manager. A leader motivates, coaches, inspires, copes with change, has relationships with others, develops people, fixes break downs, gives credit, genuinely wants people to succeed, creates and seeks opportunities, challenges the status quo, innovates, originates, and does the right thing not just does things right. Again, the list goes on. Leaders are rare. Unfortunately, the majority of people will never work for a leader. Leaders are not managers and managers are not leaders. Leaders are cheerleaders and don’t mind other people getting the credit.
I have found that leadership is the essential tool for commitment from employees. Without a leader, employees lose hope and their commitment to the company is drastically reduced. It’s not that they don’t want to do better it’s that they have no one to inspire them or encourage them to do so. Companies today hug the philosophy of management. They have forgotten what leadership is. Without leadership, all else is lost. Wars are not won on management alone. A leader is essential to inspire an organization to go beyond what they thought possible and to believe it is possible.
To create a service culture, build leaders by helping managers develop their leadership skills. In most firms we are dependent on people not machines to deliver the product or service, They are fragile human beings who want more than a pay check. They thrive on recognition. Employees work harder and more effectively for leaders than managers. Employees become more indispensable and extraordinary.
Great leaders move up. Learn how to become a leader. Develop your entire leadership team from top to bottom.
John Tschohl-described by USA Today, Time and Entrepreneur magazines as a customer service guru—has written several books on customer service including the new 13th edition of Achieving Excellence Through Customer Service.