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Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

The difference between leadership and management

In a two-part blog series, Appco Group UK Senior Call Centre Manager Glendon Evarts explores the difference between leadership and management, and the importance of developing your team’s potential. First things first – let’s distinguish between leadership and management. The two are different, yet work hand in hand, and to be effective, you need a good balance of both. In my opinion, team management is a process. As managers, we understand what our end goal is, we put processes in place and we make sure our teams have the tools they need to succeed. Just because this set-up is in place, doesn’t mean you have built the culture or the work ethic to execute the process efficiently. Welcome to the world of leadership. As a passionate leader, I know that having the perfect process is just one element of successfully leading a team. The biggest challenge is maintaining a motivated and inspired team – a team that will execute your process to such a level that it exceeds all expectation. When times are tough and the workload is overwhelming, it can be easy to rely on management over leadership. Here are some clear signs that you’ve fallen into this trap. 1. You only speak up about the negatives and disregard the positives. As a manager, you need to ensure your staff do the “right” thing; however, focusing solely on this is not going to inspire your people to work hard for you. Recognise the good whenever possible and your team will work hard to maintain the appreciation you have for them. 2. You tell people what to do instead of asking them what they think they should do. Telling people what to do is all well and good – if you want to continue telling them for the rest of their career. Discussing options and asking questions not only inspires people, but also allows them to learn how to deal with the situation so they won’t need to come to you for the same reason time and again. 3. You criticise instead of develop. Criticising people’s mistakes will only deflate their attitude and we all know how important attitude is to achieve success. Instead of pointing out faults, coach your staff through challenges and mistakes so they are aware of what happened and will also know what to do if it were to happen again. Allow your staff to know that it is perfectly okay to make mistakes, as long as they learn from them. Knowledge is nothing without experience. 4. You take the credit for your team’s hard work.  “It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit.” US President Harry S. Truman said this and, as hard as it can be to swallow, it’s true. It’s important to recognise your achievements, but it’s equally as important to allow the people working hard for you to take the credit too. If you spend all your time looking for credit, not only will your team feel underappreciated, but also, you will look selfish. Build a high-performing self-managed team by giving them full accountability and reward for their performance – this is the sign of great leadership. Your goal should be to essentially become redundant – only then will you be able to grow your business, take on new challenges, or move up the ladder yourself. Glendon Evarts is Senior Call Centre Manager for Appco Group UK.