Recently James Considine and Stephen Crate have posted about management styles….and their posts have really made me think about management and leadership in general, especially during these challenging times…

From my perspective, you have to lead people to achieve results. If you are a manager, indeed your job is to manage the business, but to lead and support people as well, rather than manage them. Given the right amount of coaching and “rope” if you will, your employees may surprise you in what they are capable of achieving.

I reported to a manager at one point in my career that I would do anything for. He really led me to higher performance and really coached me in my own management skills – and the things I learned I still use to this day. He always made clear what my objectives were and basically followed-up on progress on an as-needed basis, rather than telling me which discrete tasks to perform. It was my responsibility to come up with my own checkpoints and milestones in order to accomplish my goals, and with his input, I would execute the plan. Granted, there were times that demanded a direct order, but those were in crisis situations which demanded that style.

There are a lot of advantages to leading people to performance – but the biggest advantage is the teaching that occurs during the process. As a leader, a major responsibility that you have is to teach your employees how to plan and how to achieve goals. By doing this, you effectively raise the competence level of them, and better prepare them for more responsibility. This dramatically helps with succession planning for sure, and creates depth in your organization.

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