Does a Small Business Need Leadership or Management?

leadership vs managementWhen it comes to running your business, have you ever wondered if you need to be a leader or a manager to be successful? Well, in short your business needs both. The expression “too many generals and not enough soldiers” actually works both ways. Too many soldiers without a strong general will surely find themselves fighting the wrong battles.

A business that has too many leaders will struggle with managing and implementing day to day business issues. Likewise, businesses that only have great managers will also struggle as they are more likely to not be in a position to be innovative, motivated to change nor be on the lookout for strategic threats.

It’s important to develop leaders that can manage and managers that can lead. So what’s the difference you may ask? If you think of it like this, you want to manage things and lead people. A business manages costs, inventory, cash flow, systems and processes as well as facilities and operations. When it comes to leadership, a great business has a leader that will lead the team and drive the vision. They will also guide team member and client perceptions to ultimately generate a positive and productive corporate mindset and culture.

As a business owner you are responsible for leading your business to success and helping your team to get excited about your vision. Too often, leadership is seen as defining a step-by-step business strategy and then expecting staff to follow these steps without deviation.

Coming up with a strategy and relying on your position as the business owner is not enough. This model will fail you, your team and your business. Your staff will only do what is required of them to meet expectations and not lose their job. True leadership is the art of understanding and rewarding your staff so that they are motivated to help make your business a success.

Your role as a business owner is to work on your business, not in it. As the leader, you want to be focused on the direction that you want your business to go in. Quite often business owners take it upon themselves to do things that can easily be delegated. Your business then suffers as you are tied up in the day to day logistics of running the business. If you are too focused on things like accounts receivables, purchase orders and inventory, you can be blindsided to impending threats. You will also miss the potential for growth that your competitors may not.

To have a business that has both leadership and management requires a strong team. It’s important that you have qualified and competent staff who can manage the day to day operations for you. This will leave you free to set your sights on what you want and what direction you want your business to take.