Managers and Leaders

“Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.” - Virgil Garnett Thomson


Please ask yourself: Are you a manager who leads, a leader who manages, a true manager or a true leader?

In the last couple of years many people could afford to spend a lot of their time at work with doing nothing….they were surviving without creating any real value for the company they would be working for! A lot of these people would hide their “doing nothing” by playing internal politics; talking themselves up and acting they’d be very busy…. I always classify them as “empty suits” . Sound familiar? You’ll find empty suits in most organisations. True leaders will find them and get rid of them. So an organisation with a limited number of empty suits, usually is focused on talent & performance management and most likely will be led by a team of true leaders!  These are the best companies to work for!

End of 2008 - when the economic down turn kicked in and workforce redundancy processes started in one of the organisations I’m a leader at - I saw another type of colleagues thriving; leaders who became managers… Instead of showing their guts by facing the truth (telling some of their team members they’d be made redundant), these leaders started hiding and became managers. They came up with all kind of excuses to prevent they had to take ownership of the challenge. Fortunately I saw some other true leaders standing up and taking over the responsibility of telling the bad news.

Nothing wrong with being a leading manager. Nothing wrong with being a managing leader. However, if you’re a leader who does not how to be a true leader, you can turn into a bad manager!
In these challenging times with forecasts of massive layoffs, it becomes a survival of the fittest: only the best managers and leaders will survive: they will remain employed. The bad & weak managers and leaders and the empty suits in particular will fail and the organisation will fail with them!

Taking into consideration the current changes and reorganisations within most organisations and the wave of redundancy announcements, it's important that we as Managers/Leaders are seen as being both an approachable and empathetic resource to our staff.… Especially in these times in which some of us have to make tough decisions and have challenging discussions around redundancies, the real managers and leaders among us have a chance to prove themselves! To help you with this, please find below some of the lessons I learned and insights I gained about managers and leaders.

  • A manager stays within the box, a leader jumps out of the box.
  • A manager maintains, a leader develops.
  • A manager sets the boundaries, a leader pushes them.
  • A manager is a copy, a leader an original.
  • A manager focuses the attention on systems and structure, a leader focuses on people.
  • A manager controls, a leader trusts & inspires.
  • A manager focuses on the short term, a leader focuses on the longer term.
  • A manager focuses on the bottom-line, a leader focuses on the horizon.
  • A manager asks how and when, a leader what and why.
  • A manager takes the status-quo as a given, a leader challenges the status-quo.
  • A manager does what others tell him to do, a leader follows his inner voice.
  • A manager does the things right, a leader does the right things.
  • A manager can do without leadership qualities, a leader must always posses management qualities.
  • A leader does not tell people how to do things, but tells them what to do and let them surprise him/her with their results.
  • A leader knows you can do anything, if you just believe in it.
  • A true leader is focused on one single thing: his team(s).
  • A leader will create and clearly communicate his vision, hope, passion, inspiration and the journey he’ll take his team members on.
  • A leader always has a vision, inspires, drives, creates fun, shares fun, shares his passion, cares about & understands other people, shares his knowledge & insights, explores and makes sure the right people are in the right place!
  • To become a better manager or leader you will need to:
  1. o Share --> Learn --> Improve --> Succeed!
  2. o Dream --> Set Goals --> Define Strategies --> Execute Actions --> Succeed --> Celebrate Achievements!

“The ability to keep a cool head in an emergency, maintain poise in the midst of excitement, and to refuse to be stampeded are true marks of leadership.” - R. Shannon

Success with managing & leading the way up!

Warm regards,

Patrick Driessen