Management Skills—Leadership Vs. Authority
We often hear the term leader being thrown around so casually, it’s as if anyone can be considered a leader. Many employees assume that those in charge of a project or a department or even the whole company are a leader just because they have authority.
It made me think of past managers I worked with or worked on grooming to become managers. Many fell short of attaining true leadership skills, because they were more interested in the authority the role took on and the power they could wield.
Think of your children. At times you hear them say to their sibling, “Now I am the boss of you. You have to listen to me, because I am in charge.” Funny when we hear kids say that it seems odd, but in many companies that is the prevalent way management runs the business. Authority figures make their team follow their orders, but with true leadership, teams will choose to follow a leader.
I recently heard a TED talk that inspired me by Simon Simek. He talked about how real leaders create a zone of safety for their employees. If done correctly the team will help each other, because they feel safe because of actions of their leaders. The willingness to do their part, the willingness to put the good of team in front of the good of the individual, especially that individual themself.
What Kind Of Management Skill Do You Possess?
Authority can be intoxicating. Being part of bigger decisions, having a team of people following your direction. Many times authority can be used to make up for some slight that happened previously. Ruling by authority never works well in the long term. Do not get me wrong, teams need structure teams need direction, but successful teams need consistent action to match the message they hear.
Now I am not naive to think that just by creating a safe environment all of our business issues would be fixed, but I do agree that when a leader is willing to roll up their sleeves or even sacrifice for their team first, then it does come back to them from their team in production and willingness to deliver and go beyond.
In my opinion, those who run things by authority tactics are also the first to make decisions based on emotion, mostly because they are focused on protecting their own status/title. I hear stories of layoffs or job cuts when times get rough only to rehire back new people a few months later. That seems a bit short sighted in my eyes. Many times companies do not factor in the lost of revenue to replace worked. Not just the cost of production from that one worker but from the manager or trainer who has to take time for their work to train this person
Leaders do not make decisions on emotions. Leaders understand the weight of their decisions and take time to look at data and consult with their teams to make sure they are making the best decisions. True leaders would go without in order to keep the business running.
Take time to think about your management skills or style. Leaders are firm and demanding, but they do not let the title or the position cloud their judgment. Authority figures are easily replaced.
Glenn Pasch is the current CEO of PCG Digital Marketing as well as a writer, National Speaker and part of the Educational staff for the Automotive Digital Marketing Certification courses. If you liked this article, please share with others and connect with me @glennpasch.