Are you a FABulous manager?

Are you a FABulous manager?

We often debate what’s more important. Is it leadership or is it management? Succeeding in today’s world of high customer expectations, fast paced change and tough economic conditions is tougher than ever. So how do you become a FABulous manager?

First, let’s look at leadership and management. To be a good leader you don’t have to be a manager. But to be a good manager you need to be a leader. Leadership is not about job titles. Leadership is about showing the way. Management is about making sure things get done, achieving operational excellence. Therefore leadership and management need to co-exist.

Here’s our easy way to remember how to be a FABulous manager, combining your leadership and management skills:

F – front: There are occasions when a manager needs to be at the front, creating a vision, showing the way and leading by example. This isn’t about being like a game show host, offering style over substance. Instead this is about being authentic to the cause, passionate in a sincere way. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert is doesn’t matter. But it does if you try to fake something you don’t believe in yourself.

A – alongside: Sometimes it’s necessary for managers to be alongside their team. All too often managers can become far too removed from the day to day challenges of employees. Spending quality time with team members is essential to build credibility, gain empathy and increase understanding about how people are feeling and how they’re doing. Occasionally it’s good to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in too.

B – behind: Checking that things are happening, monitoring progress and ensuring that standards are being met are still very much part of your manager’s toolkit. But being behind your team in this way does not have to be threatening or negative. Instead, recognising and rewarding progress is very important. So is training and coaching your employees to ensure the very best performance is given. Taking appropriate action on non-performers is important too.

So where do you allocate your time as a manager? Use the box below to reflect on where you spend your leadership and management time:

% of time spent
Leading from the front
Being alongside
Supporting from behind

Are these proportions appropriate? Of course, situations will dictate and proportions will need to change. But have you slipped into some bad habits?

Here’s some action points to consider:

  • Ask your team members for feedback.
  • Are they happy with your energy and focus?
  • What do they enjoy about your leadership and management style?
  • What would they like less of?
  • What would like more of?

This feedback will help you become the FABulous manager that you and your team would like you to be.

Paul Beesley, Director & Senior Consultant, Beyond Theory

Beyond Theory is an ILM Centre. This means that our leadership and management training is approved by the Institute of Leadership and Management.


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