What a strange month we’ve had, with the nice Easter break and then the school holidays. I personally took last week off to spend time with my 5 year old son. Between days out to Legoland, Gulliver’s World and plenty of trips to the park, I’m happy to be back to work for the rest! I hope you’ve taken a bit of a break from the office too!
With only four weeks left of our financial year, I am starting to prepare for our End of Year celebrations where we spend a day reflecting on the previous year, celebrating success and achievements and setting the business up for a busy and record breaking year! We’ve had a lot of changes this year due to our growth in headcount, more varied specialisms and growth in profit.
With changes in a team, there have to be changes in management and structure – and I strongly believe every day is a school day! I am currently undertaking the Chartered Management course, which I am finding a challenge especially as I left school over 20 years ago! Being organised and disciplined to find time to learn the different modules is intense but I am learning so much and look forward to embracing the lessons this year!
One of the topics discussed is the different styles of managers and leaders. While there are lots of great ways to look after a team, it’s crucial that the team and the team leader are compatible. The question is, what’s a manager and what’s a leader? What’s the difference?
In short; people work for managers, and people follow leaders. In order to have a successful business, you have to have both! Leadership means getting people to understand the vision of the business and work to achieve company goals. Management means creating and delivering procedures and processes that will lead the business to that goal.
I was personally inspired years ago by a very inspirational, honest manager that was extremely fair to all her staff and she was of the mentality that ‘nothing is too much trouble and if they can do it so can I.’ This is where I learnt my managerial traits and I try to keep the same values she did.
The formal management of BCUK is reliant upon the Directors and Senior Management. These people plan budgets, strategic growth plans, forecasting, processes and performances. Through their organisation and standards, our business remains at a high quality and high output all the time, which is top priority for us and for our customers. But the business needs both natural managers and natural leaders!
Looking around our business, I can identify plenty of good leaders. These people aren’t necessarily office managers, or experienced within the business. They could be trainees, managers, or support staff. The key element that shows their leadership skills is the impact they have on the strategic plans of the business and support of the directorship. They are motivational people can push their team to achieve a common goal, whilst pushing themselves as an individual too. I am proud to say we have a number of good leaders that are also extremely successful on their personal desks.
What do you think? Have you had experience of a good leader or good manager in a current or previous job? Is there a wrong way to manage people, or just lots of different ways? Make sure to watch out for my next blog celebrating our end of year and anything we learn along the way!