The more we put things in boxes the more we restrict ourselves. This is also true of our perspective on leadership and management. Online leadership and management training lifts the lid on ideas that make no real sense. One of these is having lists of what it means to be a leader and what it means to be a manager to determine the positives and negatives of each. Almost as if we should choose which we want to be and prefer.
Whilst certainly there are differences in focus when one is leading and when one is managing, undoubtedly often the same people will and must play both roles. The people impacted by these individuals do not make artificial distinctions between the different roles assumed at any particular point in time. They mainly just see the person, as a discernible whole, who they will judge on their words and actions.
During leadership classes online we come to realize the main role that we play, whether we are focused on management or leadership, is engaging our people in a way that brings out the best in them. As such it is no good attempting to be effective at either role until we have come to terms with the fact that our job is really to master getting to know our people really well as a first step. This allows us to uncover what is important to them, their existing capability levels, strengths and opportunities to improve. Only when we appreciate the full spectrum of who our people are, what motivates them and what their potential actually is, can we begin to concern ourselves with what opportunities exist for collaboration, support and partnering on common endeavours and shared goals.
Leadership development online connects the dots of management and leadership to draw a picture that shows these endeavours to be synergistic. It is unlikely that a business can run successfully without people in key roles performing both aspects and skilfully integrating the demands of both. The truth is we need to be excellent at both. We need to know when management is called for and when leadership is called for and ensure that the impact of both is received constructively and has integrity with who we are as individuals.
Intent Leads Action
As with mastery in many fields, often we assume the required managerial or leadership response without consciously thinking. It is in response to the demands of a situation and the people we are interacting with. Often intuitively we also know when we need to flex between the roles. Often moving back and forth even in single interactions. Many times, in a day we will be managers or leaders. Our people simply recognize we are there for them in a way that helps and sheds light.
If our judgement is accurate and our response the right ones, our contribution in either domains will be welcomed and deemed appropriate. This is because both a leader’s and managers’ underlying intent must be to empower, allow the other to flourish and to achieve the best mutually advantageous outcomes.
Online leadership and management training is able to convey the subtle message that all roles have a continuum of growth and are intertwined in many respects. Application of various critical skills sets work to strengthen relations with our people when we are not constrained by preconceived ideas about how we need to approach situations or people. Online leadership development points to the fact that often leaders will interact with leaders and manage other leaders. The correct orientation is a function of understanding what is essential and needed by all parties. Often leadership is as much about compromise, collaboration and allowing others to lead as it is about asserting one’s own vision, opinions or solutions.
Moving Beyond Boundaries
The less we place ourselves in leadership and management boxes the more we simply allow ourselves to become the best version of ourselves within relationships and situations. We begin to have the confidence to take our cues not only from our own critical assessment and judgement, but from input and understanding shared with us from others. We begin to trust that when we truly look and listen in situations, we will come to the right answers on how to proceed. We will have the managerial ability to optimize and the leadership ability to chart new courses equally well.
How we lead and manage should truly be an extension of who we are and our ever improving ability to give the best of ourselves to others.