It is said that managers are necessary; leaders are essential, which leads me to another interesting quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower:
“Leadership consists of nothing but taking responsibility for everything that goes wrong
and giving your subordinates credit for everything that goes well.”
This must be good advice as before he became President, he was the supreme commander of the Allied Forces that invaded Europe and bought an end to World War II. So, what is the secret of this thing called Leadership? Well, President Eisenhower also described it as:
He went on to say the rules are simple:
“If you instruct, they will follow because you are paying them.
However, to get your team to achieve amazing things
they must want to do amazing things.”
The question is how do you get that person to want to do amazing things?
First of all, there are several important things you need to do:
Decide exactly what you want your staff to achieve.
Put on paper each individual job. If you don’t, how can they know what to do?
Give them the skills to carry out their job.
The easiest way of doing this is to employ someone who already has the skills you require.
Basically, your staff are the management of your business and you are the leader, and there is a difference between leadership and management. The best way to describe this is that:
Leadership is of the spirit, the personality and the vision, its practice is an art.
Management is of the mind, a matter of accurate calculation, its practice is a science.
As you start your business, you are both leader and manager, then as you grow the business and start employing people, you become a leader. Furthermore, as your business grows, those managers also need to become leaders of their departments, and you need to train them in leadership.
You can easily get this wrong. Let’s take the example of education. It appears that schools always promote the best teacher to be the head teacher. Suddenly, without any training, even in a small school, this person becomes the manager of a £1M business, leading a team with no training. More importantly that school loses a good teacher.
Don’t let this happen in your business. Don’t promote the best salesman to be sales manager, promote the best sales manager.
Is it that simple?
Yes, basically, leadership is easy, if you lead correctly.
If you try to micromanage everyone and try to show you are better than them, you will not be leading, you will be instructing.
“In most cases being a good boss means hiring talented
people and then getting out of their way.”
This quote is from Tina Fey. She’s a comedian, actress who went on to become a highly successful director, who learnt and used this lesson.
Recently, I was at an event where Lord Seb Coe was asked how, without any business experience, was he able to create, build and successfully deliver one of the best ever Olympics?
He explained that his job was easy, all he did was:.
· Pick the best people in each field
· Clearly lay out what he wanted them to do
· Then leave them to get on with it
· when they had problems support them.
To me that is the perfect description of leadership.
When you need to take on staff, are you brave enough to leave them to make their own mistakes and to follow these principals?
When you do you will have a happy united team making success achievable and fun.