Wednesday May 21, 2014
Do Business Leaders Need To Lead, Manage Or Follow? by Howard Lewinter
As a business person, who are you?
That’s an interesting question, isn’t it?
It really depends upon each and every moment of your business day as to who you are – what challenges you’re facing, what work you’re doing, who you’re talking to.
Now let’s take the question one step further. Who are you as a business leader?
No matter if you are the CEO, president, founder or owner of a company – or any other company position, you need to think of yourself as a business leader. What you do contributes to how successful the company will be. It’s a collective effort at all levels. So each business day, how you think, how you react, how you delegate will change with any given business circumstance.
For business success, to be most effective as a business leader do you need to lead, manage or follow?
The answer is: Yes, to all three. Be flexible and responsive enough at any given moment of your business day. Here’s why…
You can’t always lead. At times, you have to manage the situation. Other times, you have to follow what’s going on.
The key is flexibility. What happens today won’t happen tomorrow. What happens at this moment won’t happen at any other moment. As a leader you can’t always be telling other people you work with what to do. Sometimes, it’s best to step back and observe. Let someone else lead. You want to surround yourself with co-workers that will roll up their sleeves, so to speak, and get the job done. Self-motivation goes a long way towards business success.
Now, having said that, there are times when you need to jump right into every single aspect of a particular task or project because you see it’s not going as well as expected. Along the way, mistakes happen in your business day. But don’t keep referring to them as “mistakes” whether it’s yours or someone else’s. Instead, refer to them as “learning experiences”. The key is to not repeat the same mistake twice. As the saying goes: Learn from your experiences.
No matter what your role in business is, always be thinking about what you are doing. Always be looking at the little things you do. Shake it up when possible. See where you’re wasting time. See how you can change things for a more positive outcome. Don’t always have the same routine. Don’t do something because you’ve always done it.
It’s the same in business leadership. Don’t just lead all the time. Be willing to step back. Be willing to allow someone else in the spotlight. Be willing to have someone else have a say in what you do – or don’t do. The only way you can do this is to surround yourself with competent people.
Remember: Understand who you are as a business person, first. Then understand who you are as a business leader, second. Be someone that understands when to be out front, when to step aside to let someone else take the lead and when to follow the leader. When you do, you’ll have less stress and your business days will be more productive and enjoyable. You won’t feel like everything is on your shoulders.
Make it a team effort. That’s what being a business leader is all about.