Leader or Manager?
I’m not going to ask you to choose, the reality is that you need to be both. As a small business owner, the challenge is being both a great leader and managing the day-to-day operations.
The main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them. Leadership is about having the right team in place to understand and believe in your vision, and to work with you to make it happen. Managing is more about the day-to-day activities and processes to assure things happen as they should.
There are many traits that make for a strong leader and an outstanding manager:
Characteristics of a good leader:
- Vision: possessing a keen sense of where you are, where you want to go, and laying the ground work for the future.
- Integrity & Honesty: both are crucial to assuring your team believe in you and are engaged in your vision.
- Inspiration: serve as the role model and inspire your team to understand their role in the big picture.
- Ability to Challenge: have the foresight to think outside the box, challenge the status quo, and don’t be afraid the mix things up.
- Communication: keep your team informed of your progress, where you are and where you want to go; discuss your roadblocks and talk about how to improve and grow from your experiences.
Characteristics of a good manager:
- Ability to Execute a Vision: take the vision and create a roadmap for the team to follow.
- Direct the Team: have the resources at hand to meet the day-to-day challenges.
- Process Management: have sound policies and operating procedures in place that focus on the patient experience and company goals.
- People Focused: take care of your people, listen and involve the team in your processes.
With smaller organizations, the challenge lies in making sure you are both leading your team as well as managing your day to day operation. The key is to involve your staff in your vision, and make sure they embrace the patient experience in their performance and behaviors. Make sure they know the journey you are on and where they fit in the big picture.