“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” - Peter Drucker
Before you worry about doing things better, faster, cheaper, you should worry about whether you are even doing the right things. Who cares about doing things right, if you aren’t even doing the right things? Once you are doing the right things, then you can worry about doing things right.
Managers Vs. Leaders
An outstanding “manager” improves what the organization has been doing by getting it more organized, while an outstanding “leader” empowers people to accomplish a vision and goal that will transform their future.
A manager will teach you how to climb the ladder of success faster, but a true leader will first check whether the ladder of success is leaning against the right wall.
A manager will plan to make a better and an organized today, but a leader will always plan for the future.
Q: What other differences do you see between managers and leaders? What do you think keeps people from looking beyond their day-to-day responsibilities? Have you ever had a leader who was a bad manager? What impact did that have on your ability to do your job?
Do you need to be a better leader or a better manager? The answer is both! People who thrive in a managerial role tend to be better at doing things right, whereas leaders think more about doing the right things. If you ignore either area, you will not maximize your results.
Focus on the People
The first place where you need to focus on doing the right things the right way is in your hiring process. If you don’t have the right people in the right places, doing things right is futile.
An effective leader knows that the ultimate task of leadership is to create human energies and vision. Doing the right thing requires you to focus on people first. Don’t let a crisis cause you to compromise your hiring standards! Keep thinking strategically and focusing on what decisions will give you long-term success.
“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Q: Has your organization ever hired a person because they were in desperate need of someone to fill the position. Was that hire a good fit? If not, what quality was the employee missing? How did their presence impact the rest of the organization?
Organizations usually make the worst hiring decision when they are in crisis. What safeguards do you have in place to make sure that you prioritize finding the right person for the job? If you’re not sure, talk to your HR department and clarify what your role in this process is. Look over the job descriptions for the people who report to you and identify what technical qualifications or personality traits are non-negotiable. Mark these so that they stand out to you, even when you are distracted by a crisis.
Do you think you have more strengths as a manager or as a leader? If you are more of a manager, think about one way that you can be more strategic in your leadership. For example, you could set aside 30 minutes a week to making sure that your team is working toward goals that align with the vision of the company and brainstorming ways to emphasize the vision even more. If you are more of a leader, find a way that you can improve your managerial skills, like evaluating your methods for a specific weekly project so that you can look for ways that you can improve your efficiency.
Sometimes leaders get so focused on doing things right that they take on too many tasks that other people could do. Effective time management is a critical part of making sure that you are doing the right things the right way. Is there anything you are working on that you should not be? Or, is there anything that you should be working on that you are not? Look at your tasks, make sure that they align with your priorities, and delegate accordingly so that you can maximize your time and efficiency.