Leading in Management

The term “leading in management consulting” brings to mind visions of highly successful senior managers leading a team of junior employees in charge of the company’s daily operations. While I can’t imagine a vision for a leader to work towards, there is one that I can relate to. When I was growing up, my father was the head of a large plumbing company.

My father worked many different jobs throughout his career. He was a supervisor, an administrator, a general manager, and many other roles in between. He had no formal training or certification, but what he did have was the insight into management that came from experience. He had no idea how many layers of management were actually involved, how the process worked, or how the vision for success really worked.

So every time a project came along, whether big or small, he would dive in to see what was going on. What he discovered was that everyone had a role to play, no matter how insignificant it might seem at the time. As he observed things, he began putting people together who would have certain skill sets and talents that would be able to help the company achieve its goals. The result was that he was always leading teams that were capable of success. Even when he wasn’t leading them, he was directing the direction of those teams as a member of the management team.

Now, in this example, my father didn’t have the vision of how the company should be led. However, what he did have was the ability to see through the fog of management dysfunction to the clearly visible opportunity of success. He was able to see the potential that lay in the midst of all the mess. This same ability has allowed me to lead teams where the management vision was only partially realized, and to work toward clear objectives. However, because he had the vision, and he applied his leadership skills, he was able to use his knowledge to guide the teams toward success.

Many times management gurus will talk about the “Achilles heel” of management. They will tell you that leaders are rarely ever successful because they don’t apply themselves. They will say that they are too busy worrying about day to day operations to worry about developing their vision or getting their team members aligned. I would beg to differ. I know from my own experience that a leader can be very effective if they apply themselves to their vision and develop the accountability to make sure that they are leading in management based on that vision.

In order to be a good leader, you need to get your team to see the vision because if they don’t, then you are not leading in management at all! You need to inspire confidence and loyalty within your team so that they will be willing to step up and take ownership over their part in reaching the vision. You need to encourage participation, and encourage your people to get involved and get their own creative juices flowing.

The second thing you need to do as a leader is to have a plan. This is essential because without a plan your vision is no good. You need to sit down and write out exactly what you want to accomplish as a company, as well as the vision you want to see for yourself. The key to this is being honest with yourself. Don’t make your Vision a wish or a dream, but write it down in writing so you can look at it every day and remind yourself why you are making the decisions you are making.

When you are leading in management, you are the most important person. You have to be the driver of the ship. You need to be the leader who pushes the boat out because that is how people will see you and your leadership style. If you are the type of leader who thinks you need to do things by committee, then you need to be replaced by someone who can deliver results, and inspire loyalty and confidence in all your team members!



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