October Fest #19. Lead or Manage Part 3.
It can become quite confusing and aspirational to understand the difference between leadership and management. And so I think that cannot be too many articles written to reinforce this topic and give it depth and breadth.
Let’s today talk about good management. By default it starts to define good leadership because good leadership is everything good management is not. But we reinforce the fact that a badly managed person cannot be led.
Management is focused 100% on how things get done. Leadership on the other hand is focused on why. Sometimes a manager gets confused and starts talking about why something needs to be done thinking that in some form another it will help their management and give them some proposition as a leader. But the why of a manager is usually not very interesting. Usually the fly of a leader has something to do with fission and the future but the choir of a manager is usually something to do with getting things done on time.
Second aspect of management is that its primary focus is comfort. The manager will be talking about the hours of work, work life balance, holidays, no and happiness at work. The manager is very often involved in negotiating improved working conditions and the emotional well-being of people within the business. As you can see this is very important but we must define it as management rather than leadership. If you are asking yourself why it’s important to differentiate these to let me just go through this one more time in the next paragraph.
In a business there must be manages. A badly managed business will fail. People who are badly managed will not produce. You can’t lead people who are badly managed. But there is a certain aspect of management that involves mollycoddling people so that they feel engaged. That means focusing on their comfort and well-bei. It means focusing on their emotions and their gripes and complaints and interpersonal communication problems. If I was starting a business tomorrow I would hire an office manager to do those things and I would probably pay around the market rate of $120,000 per year. If I didn’t want to work in that same business I would also hire a leader. I would probably have to pay around $250,000 for that leader. If I had a limited budget I might try to hire a person who could lead and manage. I would pay them around about $150,000 per year. Do you see the averaging affect? You will be paid somewhere between the least important thing you do and the most important thing you do in a day.
Having been married more than once I can testify to the averaging affect in social economic terms of a marriage. If I measured the net worth of those I married and my net worth at the time of entering the marriage, and our net worth at the end there was an averaging affect. The one who was most wealthy and the one who was least wealthy averaged out that wealth. This is not a law. What it means is that if somebody is relatively poor they spend their wealth on things that are not financially generating. I remember one relationship with a lady who was struggling financially but was an amazing stage performer. When you are an amazing stage performer it doesn’t necessarily mean you get a lot of money. At this time I was an international speaker and my income per year was over $1 million. So every holiday we went on and every restaurant we went to and every dollar we spend on our relationship time was out of my pocket. This is what I mean by the averaging effect. It is not to say that she didn’t contribute 50% to the relationship it was just in a different form. And I will leave you to imagine what it was.
So when we are talking about what we would pay for a manager or a leader we are not talking about the level of contribution that person makes to the value of the business because one person spends a lot of time looking after people which doesn’t make money and the other person spends a lot of time looking after the future of the business which does make a lot of money. And therefore they get paid different money. It doesn’t mean the valuation of a manager is less than the valuation of a litre it’s just the form of the payment or contribution that changes. But if it’s you that is measuring your income and making this a metric of your work performance then you will see that the more time you spend managing the less you will be paid. You will also see that the more time you spend leading the more respected as a leader you will become, and the more time you spend managing the less time you will spend as a leader and then therefore the more valued you’ll become as a manager. It really depends on your job title and what you want to be known for as your brand.
Time is another ingredient of management. Time and motion study is the art of management. Let’s now take this difference between management and leadership into our lives and see another example. At the bottom of the consciousness comb we have our got to and our should aspects of life. If you were to sit down and write all the got twos of your life such as, stay healthy, relax, eat well, have friends, wake up early, good self talk, change your environment, stick to your values, and mental balance you will see that this is what’s called good self management. These things are routines and foundations for self leadership. If you don’t have a solid routine that can’t be broken and daily habits that you never forget you are building a pyramid on sand or quicksand to be more accurate. If you then place your vision and your future on top of this sloppy sort of self management you will go nowhere. This is why goalsetting was invented in the first place to give routine and regimen to a life so that this person doesn’t become an emotional wreck and therefore be labelled as an individual with mental health problems, stress, anxiety, depression etc which is really the fundamental outcome of bad self management. This really clearly gives a separation between self leadership and self-management and demonstrates that without good self-management self leadership becomes a little bit of a joke and rhetoric.
If self management is solid, routines are in place and are infallible to even spousal complaints and abuse then we will have a person who can begin to self lead and eventually lead others. So what do you find most commonly in the lives of good or great leaders is a massive emphasis on regularity, daily habits, routine, discipline almost at a military like level. It means that if you are going to be a good leader you need to nail down the variables of your life so that they do not continually spark bushfires. What we do in good self management is go around the seven areas of life and ask what are the got two and should do aspects of each of the seven areas of life and plant these solid in the ground for each individual. Remembering that each individual person will have different definitions of their got twos and they’re like should dos and therefore this is a very individual set of routines, regimens, disciplines and commitments to the self to stick to this pattern so that good self leadership can begin and creativity, inspiration, love, gratitude and all the other aspects of good self leadership can actually sit on a solid foundation that is not continually falling down through bad self management.
Now the same goes for business. If you do not have a good COO, a good office manager, a general manager who is focused 100% on the routines and disciplines of the foundations of the business which includes timelines and performance measures you will as a leader be continually turning your head back over your neck like an emu looking behind you to make sure that somebody is sweeping the path. So the value of management is unquestionably important. It is also very very expensive when the people the manager is managing refuse to comply. This is one of the reasons why we have training programs in business. However it is often made optional whether an individual does self-management well and this means that the managers job is totally hard to do because they are continually putting out fires in places that fires never needed to be lit. Most of those fires come from individuals who refuse to create discipline and routine in their private life and therefore come to work messed up and spread that mess all over the office.
In an era that has made political Lee correct management a primary focus of how we interact at work with all sorts of limitations placed on the intervention of a manager on people’s lives, it is understandable that the quality of personal life cannot necessarily be addressed in a business sense and so speakers are invited to motivate people to be self-aware of the cost of bad self management but they are operating on the most shallow level of intervention. A speaker must entertain a audience and cannot measure what people do on a sustainable basis. As a professional speaker I remember giving advice to people on the routines and disciplines of a healthy life that would lead to great self leadership and seeing people run out the door ready to implement balance in all seven areas of their life, but I guarantee that if I went back six weeks later people would be doing what they were doing exactly the same maybe with a few modifications as they were doing the day before my keynote presentation. The family, the spouse, the kids, the culture, the history and the belief systems of that individual would revert as quickly as they changed in the workshop back to where they were. This is why I place a huge emphasis on coaching as an independent. If I am going to coach leaders I really need to be accountable and have them accountable for their self management. It is so common to find people who want to be great leaders and have great self leadership and who want to make a fortune as a leader not necessarily as a manager, but who lack any sense of self management and the connection of that self-management to self leadership. They want to enjoy life, drink alcohol each day of the week, do exercise when it’s convenient, take time in nature if there is time to spare and their entire life is built around convenience and also very often satisfying somebody else at home who has demands on them.
Role models play a really big part in this problem between self-management and self leadership. We see somebody like Usain Bolt win gold medals at three Olympics in a row and then we see on his Instagram and Facebook page him at going to parties and having a big time with lots of wealth. We think that he achieved his gold medals through some degree of hard work but his life is really wonderful. But if we were to really focus in on Usain Bolt, most of his life was spent in routine. What he ate, when he trained, when he slept, overcoming injuries, dealing with nutrition, balancing media responsibilities as well as personal responsibilities, keeping calm dealing with anxiety it all was being looked after at a very very military like level but his Facebook page never showed it. It is just so easy for a leader to come in front of a group of people and tell them how wonderful they are and how brilliant they are and leave out the suffering that comes from good self management. Good self management needs to deny the appetite for pleasure. Pleasure is the reason the pyramid falls over, pleasure is the quicksand. You know we must have it but if we have pleasure and this pleasure which includes satisfying other people’s appetites for our time, transcends our self management routines and disciplines then our performance will be zero. We will spend most of our time recovering from the pleasure, searching for new levels of high, looking for jobs that give us more satisfaction while at the same token dealing with the opposite side of pleasure hunting which is the loss of control of the high levels of being a good high performing leader.
I recently watched a corporate presentation online where a speaker was asked to come in and talk about leadership. The speaker spent most of their time talking about the challenges of holding their vision clear. That is such a great message and in the question times everybody wanted to know about how that individual, who was a publicly identified figure, looked after their personal life in the midst of such challenge of good leadership. As the questions became more personal the leader who was speaking revealed their struggle with their personal life and the discipline of going for example to the gymnasium regularly. It was also noted that this person had some relationship challenges. The leader who was presenting had actually failed. So sort of away they were demonstrating what not to do rather than what to do. And I wish they had of presented it that way rather than to say I am a good example of leadership and how hard it is because I didn’t get my act together personally it flowed into my work and everybody knew what she meant. I think role models need to take it into account that very often we present self leadership as what’s required to hold the space as a good leader but we forget that that good leader cannot function without good Lieutenant being the managers, and cannot function without the disciplines of military level self-management.
I’m going to talk about this for the rest of Oktoberfest. It is the difference between motivating people and inspiring people. It is the difference between success and failure in any Walk of life. In the 30 day challenge I introduced the Back In Track process. This is a daily process I have created which summarises how to evolve every single day and stay on track. There are seven steps in the back on track process and they are really easy and they lead to great self management which makes great self leadership possible. Very often people just by the 30 day challenge and then because there has been massive shift in their consciousness and their mindset, they’ve lost weight and they feel really great, they then move forward into life and start focusing on self leadership and forget that the reason they felt rate was because for 30 days they had real genuine accountable discipline. They forget that for 30 days they control their diet they control their mind they controlled the evenings and they got permission which is really weird from their spouse to be focused on good self management. The second the 30 day challenge finishes these people quite often revert back to the stupid behaviours of competent self management and then wonder why they begin to struggle with their self leadership. Self leadership sits behind all great leadership. But self-management sits behind all great self leadership. It also determines how much will be paid. So although there is an emotional cost to discipline at a military level in your personal life sticking up for the things that are in the back on track process there is a financial reward for it. You will not get paid for the good things you do for yourself you will get paid for the discipline that fundamentally anchors your self-management in a non-traumatise non-dramatised non-fictionalised reality of what it takes to be a great performer and a great human being and a great version of yourself.
Short story to finish. When I take people to Nepal I get exhausted because the Trail is hard and the going is rough. I to have to face the climbing and the walking just like everybody else and face the knee pain and the ankle soreness of going downhill. When I first started this track I would get really grumpy at the end of the day because I was so tired and so fatigued I’ve spent my whole day looking after people and making sure they didn’t get lost or that they are pyjamas were packed in the right bag in the duffel. eventually I realised that what was exhausting me was that I was both leading and managing the tracks. As a result of that exhaustion when I arrived each evening I would give the clients clear instructions as to what to do for the afternoon in recovery and I would change my clothes and go for a long walk by myself to recover probably having a few Snickers bars with the local Sherpa people and tried to get away from the people I was managing. That sort of knee-jerk reaction is what people do when they go home from work and go I’m exhausted I need to recover. But that is just such the most clumsy of processes. When I realised that I had been spending most of my track managing people and my responsibility and what I was being paid to do was to leave them I began to hire extra staff in particular a few brilliant Sherpa characters who were absolutely awesome communicators and at the same token very humble. My managers basically took over the whole responsibility of managing the team from the time they woke up to the time they went to sleep at night and I was left with the core responsibility of leading them. In just that simple flick of a switch and the expenditure of a few dollars of the profit of the trip, my energy shifted and I no longer felt tired at the end of a day and could as a leader communicate about all the things that were important to leadership in the program. I no longer needed to go for walks and eat Mars bars and sneakers. I suddenly felt vital at the end of the day and guess what, the clients were happy to because they had a leader and they had good management not an averaging affect.
No I think it’s really important for each of us to define our role as either a manager or a leader and make sure that we know the Boundry between those two places really clearly. You will get paid somewhere between the least financial valuable thing you do which is management and the most financial thing you do which is leadership and if you want to change that payment you better change what you do in your day and I guarantee that you will go home with more energy as either a full-time manager doing that job really well or a full-time leader doing that job really well instead of half half. There is no such thing as a half-hearted success story and being both the manager and the leader is half-hearted.
That’s the end of this article. Live with spirit, Chris.