Kill the Performance Review
A misguided idea of leadership: could this be the ultimate leadership mistake?

The Difference between a Manager and a Leader

This week, in asking the question, "Do your leaders coach?" Steve Roesler wrote one of the best blogs I have read for a long time. It is a perfect example of effective coaching in itself; simple, thought-provoking and instructive without being prescriptive.

Leadership 14767404_s 123RFHowever, it  begs the further question: “Who are your leaders?” For, before you can answer, you need to identify who your leaders are. If you agree with Steve that, “Regardless of the job title, if we're responsible for how other people perform then we're responsible for how they learn to perform even better,” you will immediately perceive two additional things:

There is a call for, and expectation of, coaching from  leaders;
  • Leaders are not necessarily people who have the word manager in their job-title.
  • There is however, an important corollary to the second point – viz. that anyone with the word manager or supervisor in their job title should be a leader. Hence my comment and this blog.

    Steve clearly has the expectation that a manager is a leader, but is that a valid assumption? Certainly it’s a question you need to ask yourself. For, if the people in your organisation who are “responsible for how other people perform” are not coaching, they are managing but not leading. And the results will be significantly poorer than they might otherwise be.

    Let’s turn that one around and ask the question, “Are your results so good that there is little room for improvement?” I doubt it. Even if they are, the drive for continuous performance improvement keeps the pressure on to do better. This means you cannot afford to lack leadership. You must create the leaders to ensure you maintain and sustain improvement.

    But remember, leaders are not necessarily “identified by job title.” So how do your ensure that you have the leadership you need? As Steve highlights, it ought, ideally, to begin from the top. It would certainly help, though, if you could build it into your organisational culture and that is what the ‘Every Individual Matters’ model enables you to do. By recognising and focusing on each and every individual, it enhances personal performance on an organisation-wide basis and thus inevitably enhances organisational performance. It provides a solid foundation for coaching and so builds a powerful, sustainable leadership framework.   


    Bay Jordan

    Bay is the founder and director of Zealise, and the creator of the ‘Every Individual Matters’ organisational culture model that helps transform organisational performance and bottom-line results. Bay is also the author of several books, including “Lean Organisations Need FAT People” and “The 7 Deadly Toxins of Employee Engagement.”


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