Leadership vs Management
Authors: Byron and Catherine Pulsifer © 2016
Is there a difference between leadership and management? Are you a leader or are you a coach or are you a manager? What style of leadership do you plan to use? Have you considered using a coaching style rather than a managing style? What determines success in these roles? Read our inspirational thoughts, and inspirational quotes on coaching in a leadership role – thedynamics of changing from a Manager to a Coach.
Both of us have been in leadership roles. And both of us have seen many styles of management come and go. If you have been in the workforce for a number of years in the same company, you probably have experienced firsthand a variety of management styles. Some of these styles you may have preferred to keep around as long as you were working, and others you have a hard time accepting.
What was once referred to as a manager’s role has seen new light. Today, you will hear the term a leader or a coach more often than manager. And, while the philosophy and techniques may be changing, you will still see the term manager applied when available middle level management positions are advertised.
However, the latest philosophy of managing people more often referred to as coaching and leadership. When the concepts were first discussed, we bought many books, read numerous articles, and reviewed basically anything we could get our hands on. A lot of what we read, though, cited models with a lot of theory and full of jargon but little practical examples.
Our own experience proved to be the most valuable as we moved from managers to coaches. Now, a few years later, we feel that the coaching method is our preferred style.
As we talk with our friends, however, we realize there are still people struggling with the concept of coaching, and as the coach as leader. So sit back and share our experiences and thoughts. Hopefully we can paint a picture for you to help you become a great coach! And, if you need some inspiration then print our monthly quote calendar where you will find a quote for each day of the month to encourage and inspire.
Why All This Talk of Coaching Rather Than Managing
For hundreds of years, there have been managers. So why is it that now all this talk of coaching rather than managing? Why is there now this change to a coach? Well if you are taking over a Manager’s position or if you are a new or seasoned manager, you may want to consider the following two main reasons:
1. global competition, and,
Decisions Made Quickly
You may remember that only a few years ago a manager simply followed a set series of guidelines to accomplish the work assigned to a particular area. If a manager wanted to or needed to change a process or alter how the work got done, they would have to first seek approval from the next higher level of management.
And, if the requested change was substantially different from what had been the normal practice, it was sometimes viewed as the responsibility of the most senior of managers.
Each one of these steps often took days or even weeks to rise to the proper level of management so that a new or different process was either approved or denied. In essence, this method of change was truly enmeshed in the hierarchical method of managing.
No longer can issues be passed up the ladder. No longer is it advisable or acceptable to wait for a decision that could take days for a decision. Decisions need to be made quicker than ever before. Part of the reason is that for every delay, time is wasted and time means money lost. The other part of the reason is that the consumer today is more demanding. No longer will a consumer wait to get what they need from your company when they can receive what they want much more quickly from one of your competitors.
Quite simply, with national and international companies vying for the same slice of the marker place, waiting is death to a company’s bottom line.
Major Changes With Technology
Thanks to technology, information is now readily available to us. No longer will a consumer wait on a local company to deliver a product or service they need.
Technology has evolved to the point where a simple search on your smart phone will give you one or more alternatives.
In addition, with the vast amount of information available today, the manager is no longer the keeper of all answers. This means, in essence, that a manager’s role has changed dramatically from the gate keeper of required knowledge; has changed or must change because it is virtually impossible to have complete knowledge of each and every new method, or process.
In A Coaching Role
What is the difference between being a manager and being a coach? In a coaching role, you are not expected to have all the answers. In a coaching role, you ask the questions and rely more on your staff, who become the experts, to provide the information. The result of global competition and the increased information is that managers now must become coaches.
We found a job description of a manager with the following statement:
“Controls, directs and supervises the day to day operations.”
A job description of a coach would be:
“To lead, motivate, create a vision, and teach staff the skills needed to empower them to help make a successful and profitable company.”
There is a real difference between the two descriptions.
“You cannot manage men into battle. You manage things; you lead people.”
Grace Murray Hopper
If Changes Are Not Made
What happens if companies do not change? Simply, they will not survive. They will not attract the talent they need as employees who will no longer simply conform to complying with the orders issued by managers. Today’s employees are more educated, more involved, and need to be aware of the whole picture not just their part.
With more and more competition, due to global markets, companies must constantly evaluate how they are doing business.
Change Happening Faster
Change is going to speed up before it slows down. No longer can the manager do it all, know it all, and be it all. You need your employees to speak up and speak out! They are the ones closest to your front line, and they are the ones who often have the best ideas as they are closest to your customer. So, by coaching employees rather than managing them, you end up with a more dynamic result!!
Rather than clinging to past ways, look at changing to a coaching style. It must be recognized, however, that some managers have concerns about letting go, and these old fashioned managers need help to change their operating style.