How do you Communicate a Vision? It Takes Both Leadership and Management

Leadership and Management are two different functions, but must be aligned. Why?

Leadership is about having followers – getting people to understand and believe in your vision and to work with you to achieve your goal. Warren Bennis, accomplished author and leadership scholar, echoes this: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” How do you get there? By managing. This is more about making sure the day-to-day activities are progressing as they should.

Here are some great examples:

  • When you challenge how things work as a leader, you then have to implement any change you’ve made to that process as a manger.
  • While you can inspire a shared vision as a leader, you must institute plans and budgets as a manager. For example, you can be a visionary and say, “We are going to be a $100 million dollar firm,” but you still need to plan and budget for that if it’s going to happen.
  • As a leader, you need to create alignment and as a manger you have to direct and organize your resources. How can you accomplish this? Aligning your team means ensuring people are on the right teams, teams moving in the right directions, directions that are focused on the right customer and so on. Managers are then responsible for ensuring that company resources such as labor and equipment are organized and pointed in the right direction.
  • As a leader, you need to create a model for the way people are to follow you. “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell. As a manger, you will find yourself solving problems, controlling projects and making sure everything is on schedule and in line.

Good Leaders will motivate with their vision but good managers will make sure the job gets done. Almost everyone is naturally better at one than the other. A balance of these is rarely found at the individual level, but is a requirement at the organizational level.

Stephen Covey says it best; “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”

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