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Differentiating Pro's, Con's & Opportunities to Managers

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is one thing for a person to feel like they have ascended the ladder and become a Manager in charge of leading a team. Another to actually be humble and aware of what this position means.

And yeah I guess, as you may imagine, attitude, influence and example does not stop in gaining the position, rather it continues across every level of management and includes the CEO and owner.

Leadership is not Management. Management is not Leadership.

Both are equal opportunities to do good or be recognised for doing poorly.

As Michael Gerber of eMyth states, “Management maintains the status quo. Leadership redefines it and brings everyone forward”

So how we interact with our teams, departments and one another is reflective of who we are, who we wish to be and how we handle our own uncertainties and misgivings.

There is nothing wrong with a mistake. There is everything wrong with pretending it doesn’t exist and seeing a business stagnate, fail or have continuing issues - really common as you’ll have experienced - when the mistakes are not acknowledged and remedied.

As we know recruitment and retention are major issues across Australia. Here is part of the reason.

As an example, one of the most common phrases a team members hears from their Manager is “when you’re a leader like I am…”

That stuff really hurts a relationship, motivation and trust. Why would a person work with another where they recognise the other person feels better or above them. Submission in any relationship never amounts to enjoyment and growth. Ever. Think about it…

This statement perfectly reflects a Positional Leader - a Manager who claims a position and sees hierarchical difference between themselves and their team, potentially the same people they worked beside only yesterday or last month, quarter, year…

Just so you know, there are no differences outside of attitude and how a person leverages this to support and grow their team in order to grow and support the business.

People are People. We all have the same issues simply boxed in a different manner.

Vision, Mission, Goals all arise from Values and that means working together not apart from one another.

This article highlights 5 functional and 8 dysfunctional elements to level.1 management (those who gain a new mgmt position), their opportunities and comparatives to level.2 management (those who seek to build a relationship with team members)

We may then see how simple it is to improve a business from the inside out looking just at the way a manager operates and the impact they have.

Following level.2 team developers, are:

  • level.3 productivity developers

  • level.4 people developers

  • level.5 replacement leader developers

As you may imagine, it is possible to hold multiple levels in the eyes of those you work with, depending on the level of trust and the relationship held. It is difficult to ascend and easy to fall back.

Management describes an obligation. Leadership defines who we will be and our behaviour to get there. Massive difference.

For the sake of simplicity in this article, I’ll refer to the role a Manager does as Leadership, given this is their purpose.

Overview to Level.1 Management - 5 functional attributes:

1. People are placed in position, given a title and provided an opportunity and a platform to display their leadership abilities.

- Position is starting again. Similar to military or martial arts progress, where one shifts from proving their abilities and worth to a position of authority where their experience, knowledge and aptitude for sharing and adding value becomes evident, or not

- It doesn’t guarantee however that people will follow. Earning people ’s respect after gaining the position is the managers responsibility

As a rule of thumb:

“the best leaders promote people into leadership based on potential, not politics, convenience, seniority or credentials”

2. Position means that authority is recognised, and it is typically given because the person has potential.

- A new manager has to use their authority wisely, to advance the team and help the people they lead - when they do this properly, people recognise & follow, if not - they won’t, why would they ?

- Managerial leadership levels are only successful if the person is dedicated to continual development. If they accept a position for the wrong reasons, then they fail as a leader

3. A person may ask “how they could change the effectiveness of the organisation ?”

- Most people focus on Product, Processes, Pricing, People, Promotions or Policies. Seldom do people say ‘Me’ (the most important of all and the key to the success of any business).

- When a person stops learning, growing, innovating, improving they quickly start blocking other people to protect their position - threat or poor parenting mentality “do as I say, not as I do”

4. Level.1 enables the person to decide what sort of a leader they wish to be

- Their style will always align with their own values, levels of importance and what matters to them

- The more congruent the path with values, vision and mission of the person, other employee’s and the business, the more effective the leadership

- The most efficient managers as an example reflect constantly on:

  • who am i

  • what do i want to achieve

  • how, where, when, with whom

- Successful leaders work hard to know themselves, their work habits and their response v reaction in various situations

5. An invitation to lead people, is an invitation to make a difference, good leaders change lives, they form teams, change organisation cultures positively, communities and more they have:

  • ethical values. what it means to do the right thing for the right reason

  • relationship values. how to build an environment of trust & respect with others

  • success values. identify goals worth spending their life on

Conversely there are 5 Dysfunctional Opportunities to level.1 Management:

1. Being a manager and claiming leadership is a misleading title, as it promises more than it can deliver

- Sincerity is all that matters. Seeing a position as a given, fails to see it as an opportunity to prove worth, leadership is a verb (doing) not a noun (title)

2. Leaders who rely on position, devalue others: self-protect, manipulate, the position is more important than the work they do

- A negative attitude ruins an organisation. Often these people see subordinates as an annoyance, cogs to a system, an interference to promotion to their next desired position or that of a favoured other, or an interchangeable factor they need account for

- In order to protect their position, positional leaders make other people feel small and insignificant, they keep other peoples knowledge and abilities away from those of influence in order to protect themselves and their feeling of being threatened. In NLP this is known as ‘fear of being found out/ fear of not being good enough

3. Positional leaders feed on politics, manoeuvring, they work to gain titles as other peoples gains represent a potential (fear based) loss to them

- They speak in small circles and do not socialise with others or show genuine interest in people from other departments.

- They find excuses to blame, manipulate, hide or find false leverage

- They create inter-departmental rivalries not inclusion and collaboration

- They do things to make themselves look and feel important

As TS Elliot stated: “half of the harm done in this World, is created by those seeking importance, they don’t mean to do harm, they are stuck in the endless struggle to think of well of themselves”

4. Level.1 leaders rely on their rights and develop a sense of entitlement

- They believe and expect their team is there to serve them rather than they are there to serve their team.

- Their job description is more important to them than job development, they value territory over teamwork, as a result they emphasise rules & regulations that are to their advantage over relationships

- They create a culture of political manipulation, deceit, manoeuvring, staff departures, increased low quality and removed or departed high quality staff. The environment changes completely

President Abraham Lincoln said:

“Nearly all men can handle adversity, if you want to test their character, give them power”

5. Level.1 leaders often feel lonely, yet leadership is not lonely, people make it that way

- A good leader involves bringing people with you not standing apart from them. Those who stand apart do so because feel their position is threatened. Team members seeking to grow and develop simply leave the business and seek growth elsewhere, only average or unmotivated people remain.

6. Those who do not help others to grow, become branded and stranded

7. Turnover is high for level.1 leaders

- when people rely on position, turnover is always high

- people do leave their position, they leave the culture of the company, therefore a business must ask, who is leaving why and who did they work with ?

- the more positional leaders exist within an organisation, the more low level people are attracted and the more effective or opportune people depart

- ‘lost leadership’ is the cause of low retention and the costly expense of recruitment amongst businesses - when level.1 managers become uncomfortable with productive, creative and interested employee’s, turnover increases, productivity declines. Low productivity = marginalised Success

“People do not leave company’s, they leave People”

8. Level.1 leaders receive peoples least not their best efforts

- Level.1 leaders (managers) expect their position to do the work for them, they expect title to provide return

- Have a look inside your business - if this occurs, it is a reflection of how the team is managed:

  • Clock watchers, people who gauge their day and how long they have til they go home. You’ll see morale picks up around midday and falls at the beginning and toward the end of day

  • JD or job description fanatics: “that’s not in my job description”. They do enough to get by, get paid & no more than necessary, they reluctantly comply

  • The disengaged : these people are mentally and emotionally disengaged or uninterested in other departments, their colleagues and management. They are a virus where others start to follow the same examples.

Leadership remember sets the example and has an opportunity to positively influence others to generate a desired outcome.

Level.1 Leaders - Managers are not creative or innovative, they do ‘just enough’ to the detriment of team members and the business.

2 of the Greatest Opportunities to Level.1 Position leading to Level.2 Team Development Leaders:

If level.1 leaders are managers in reliance mode ie: they received a position and aren’t really doing anything with it, then

  • Reliance doesn’t reflect a complete loss, rather an ability to identify opportunity and make a change. Reliance typically evolves into Rebellion (I don’t want to)

  • Rebellion evolves into Results (how can I make a difference)

  • Results evolve into Realisation (being a consistent example)

1. Recognising opportunity occurs when the mindset is shifted from:

- Stop relying on position to push people and start leading before the position is gained to determine response, reflect sacrifice, courage and humility.

- The choice to lead is up to the individual. It is an opportunity on how to influence people’s actions without title or authority.

2. Recognise the differences between level.1 and level.2 leaders

Level.1 Leaders operate by:

  • Think top down (I’m higher than you)

  • Separation (don’t let people close to you)

  • Image (fake it til you make it)

  • Strength (never let them see you sweat)

  • Selfishness (you’re here to serve me)

  • Power (I determine your future - I’ve experienced that one many times - it is incredibly deflating and demeaning)

  • Intimidation (do this or else)

  • Rules (the manual says)

Level.2 Leaders operate by people skills not power to get things done, inclusion not subordination

  • (they) Work side by side

  • (have) Initiation (I’ll come to you)

  • Inclusion (what do you think)

  • Cooperation (together we can win)

  • Servitude (I’m here to help you)

  • Development (i want to add value to you)

  • Encouragement (I believe you can do this)

  • Innovation (let’s think outside the box)

If a person has to tell people they’re the leader, they’re not and never were - they either will or won’t learn humility and will definitely see mass exodus around them, unfortunately as a direct result of their leadership ability irregardless what title or position they receive.

They could consider themselves status significance from “I’m the last one standing, the others didn’t last” - actually not a positive resolve in the slightest…

If a person continues to rely on position to move people, they will not generate influence and success will be limited.

Good leaders don't boss people around, they encourage them - leadership is encouragement.

If you are looking for results, listen, learn, language then lead

Organise a conversation, open the door, step forward

If it matters to You : it matters to Me

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