Most aspiring business leaders focus on achieving success through management. They (and me too in the past) concentrate on learning new management techniques – buying into contemporary business ethos, jargon and management “speak” – learning the latest buzz words and methodologies. Indeed, there are a multitude of management courses available for all levels of organisational hierarchy. Whilst all learning is useful, many approaches reflect the providers need to package and sell learning materials and techniques. Often, true learning only occurs by doing things for real – reflect on your own training history and the extent to which it transformed your work performance?

Most ambitious managers I know don’t want to do administration, planning, organisation, monitoring and bureaucracy – they want to be inspirational and successful leaders – and make money. Consider the title of one of the most prestigious management qualifications “Master of Business Administration” (MBA) – it’s about being a master of administration – not how energetic leaders see themselves operating.

Good management is necessary in all organisations, but there is a need to recognise that management and leadership are different and often confused with each other. Management is required to plan and organise, to set targets and monitor performance so that variances can be recognised and analysed and that improvements can be achieved. Management provides a structure in an organisation and it gives people a framework and a process in which to operate.

Businesses need inspirational leadership and strong management and often these are conflicting human characteristics. Successful organisations blend these roles to drive success and grow.

Some points of wisdom
  1. Create a plan of resources, tasks and processes.
  2. Define organisation and team structures.
  3. Create job functions, roles and responsibilities.
  4. Define who does what and when.
  5. Meet individuals and teams regularly to identify problems and opportunities for improvement.
  6. Encourage staff to achieve the highest standards of performance.
  7. Train and educate.

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