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Braddon Business Blog

Leadership and Management in Business

Continuing our discussion regarding the operation of small businesses leads us to the role of leadership and management.

Many people see these as one and the same. However, nothing can be further from the truth. The confusion often occurs because operators of small businesses will often be required to perform both roles, leader and manager.

Leadership involves identifying major business opportunities and establishing the vision and mission for the business. Leaders also set the organisation culture including how the business tackles problems, overcomes challenges and displaying the courage to see through, what seem to be, impossible circumstances. Leaders tend to be good at establishing the businesses broad direction, using a military comparison, leaders identify which battles to fight.

Managers, on the other hand, are best at fighting the battle. Managers are experts at knowing the best way to get a particular job done. Managers are good at breaking a job into parts and developing good processes to complete each part. A good manager knows their people’s strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, interests and turnoffs. They know how best to use the resources available to them to get each job done. As a result, good managers also need to be good listeners, good teachers and good at reporting.

Generally, most people are much better at either leadership or managing. Leaders tend to be better with circumstances that require creative problem solving. Managers, on the other hand, tend to be better at implementing strategies than coming up with strategies in the first place.

It is easy to see that, generally, skills required by managers are quite different to those required by leaders. However, as with many issues surrounding the operation of small businesses, successful owner/operators need to have both skill sets. Whilst this may seem a challenge for operators of large businesses, for successful owner/operators of small businesses, it is all in a day’s work.

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