Managing to lead?

“Managers watch over our numbers, our time and our results. Leaders watch over us”

Simon Sinek explains the difference between management and leadership with this quote.  If you have anyone who reports to you, then you are both a manager and a leader and that means that you need to spend time focusing on the results and your people.  There are a lot of leaders who are very diligent when it comes to numbers, time and results and are not so good with the leading part.

I would suggest that the relationship between managing and leading is 50/50, so half the time is spent managing and the other half leading.  Managing things is generally a comfortable space for most leaders as they have experience here (the numbers don’t ask questions), the leading aspect takes some out of their comfort zone as they have to work with people – and we all know that people can be unpredictable.

The very best thing you can do as a leader is to let your people know you care about them, show you understand them and always, always have their back.  If you do this in a genuine and consistent manner you will find that the management side of things will take care of itself.  

So instead of managing to be a great leader, lead to be a great manager.








Authentic leadership is…

a nice theory but…

What does it mean to be authentic?  According to Websters Dictionary, the word authentic means “reliable as a source of information” .  It also means ” genuine, real, sure, true, and trustworthy”

If I asked how you would describe your authentic self, what would you say?  Would you define your true self as compassionate, empathic, intelligent, thoughtful, mindful, supportive, innovative and a great communicator?  I would imagine that it would be rare to possess all these qualities and display them all the time.  What about the times we get angry, hurt, bitter, upset, emotional and we either want to avoid a confrontation or take someone on?  Isn’t this also part of being authentic?

I’m sure you can see where I am heading here.  If we were truly authentic leaders we would demonstrate a range of behaviours depending on our emotions at the time.  Being authentic is lovely in theory but unless you naturally possess the qualities mentioned above, it won’t make for a great leader.

Leadership is very simple, if you stop being authentic, stop making it about you (because leadership is never about the leader) and follow the “7 Naked Clues”  you will have everything you need to become an effective leader.

What are the 7 Naked Clues?

1.  Clear expectations…then follow up

2. Ask questions…then shut up and listen

3.  Support them…while they learn

4. Empathy (not sympathy)

5. Share the secret

6. How you do it matters

7. It’s their challenge…let them solve it!

Where do the 7 Naked Clues come from?

If you are interested in reading more about the 7 Naked Clues you can check out the book Naked Leadership written by David Bentley.

The first person to leave a comment on this post will receive a signed copy of the book absolutely FREE!!!



Is there a lEader In the house?

When will organisations stop promoting people based on their technical skills into leadership roles?  It’s not fair on the person, their team and the organisation as a whole.  Why does leadership seem to be such an elusive set of behaviours to develop?  Companies spend a fortune on leadership training yet each year, leadership appears at the top of the list of learning requirements for most companies.

I think what’s required is a focus on emotional intelligence (EI) before the person is promoted into a leadership position.  As Daniel Goleman notes, EI is composed of self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.  The main issue with EI is that you cannot attend a learning program and become emotionally intelligent!  You need to put in some hard work around self-reflection and be prepared to travel the long road to EI.

I wonder how different it would be if organisations started to incorporate EI into their leaders role descriptions and then began to hold leaders accountable for meeting these EI elements?  I think that we would see more effective and efficient leaders, teams, individuals and organisations.

How emotionally intelligent are you?

How much time do you spend self reflecting?

Are the majority of people in your organisation emotionally intelligent?