Your Most Valuable Asset: Creating a Balance Between Leading, Managing and Inspiring Your Staff

A happy, productive staff is the beating heart of any successful company, and learning how to walk the fine line between managing, leading and inspiring your staff is essential to unlock their full potential. Today’s office environment is a far cry from the formal, male-dominated workplaces of the 70s and 80s, and the role of manager has also involved to include a great deal more interpersonal skills than it once did. A good manager is now required to oversee the day-to-day running of his department while also taking an active interest in the well-being and career development of his or her staff.

The Difference Between Managing And Leading

A manager is concerned with the practical aspects of running a business such as operating procedures, office systems and rules and regulations that help the staff function like a well-oiled machine. Managing a team of people requires confidence, attention to detail and a high level of organization to make sure every task is completed on time and as effectively as possible. If your team requires items such as office equipment or protective clothing, then you should be the first one to locate new supplies or view uniforms and Leading is more about inspiring and motivating people to want to follow you towards the completion of a common goal. A good leader will also lead by example and instill confidence and loyalty in staff through hard work, determination and the ability to think outside the box.

Traits Of Good Leaders

The best leaders share the same characteristics that help them earn the respect and trust of their colleagues.

Ambition – Leaders are constantly thinking about new and exciting ways to expand their business or make it more efficient. Your staff are far more likely to want to follow you if they feel you are leading them somewhere amazing and will feel more personally invested in the company.

Determination – A boss that saunters into the office at 10am then ducks out early for a round of golf will not earn the respect or commitment of employees. A leader should be down in the trenches working just as hard or even harder than everybody else to set the pace for the rest of the team. Having the determination to see a project through to the end no matter how tough it gets shows that you are fully committed to the company.

Confidence – If you wish to inspire confidence in others, then you will have to start by believing in yourself. Even if you are not the most naturally confident person, learning how to ‘fake it until you make it’ will help your employees get behind you.

Honesty – A good leader is honest in all areas of his or her professional life whether it concerns future plans for the company or taking responsibility for bad decisions. Passing the buck or attempting to keep employees in the dark will not win you any friends and will result in an unpleasant working environment.

Approachable – Your staff should feel able to approach you with a question or problem at any time of the day without fear of being intimidated or ridiculed. Taking time to connect with employees on a personal level will pay off in the future when you need their support on a big project.

Be A Source Of Inspiration

Happy workers are those that feel challenged and inspired in their career as well as valued for their contribution to the company. Inspiring your employees to develop their skills and move up within the company will avoid the dreaded career burnout or job boredom that plagues office workers. Delegating tasks to employees is a great way to let them assume a little more responsibility and push themselves to see what they can achieve if they put their mind to it. Asking your employees for their opinions on certain company policies and procedures is also a great way to help them feel more involved. A regular staff meeting that lets employees brainstorm ideas for the future can often result in some fantastic ideas that will benefit the whole company.

Although it is a good idea to get to know your employees on a personal level, it is also important to maintain a professional distance to avoid becoming over friendly with your team. As well as inspiring and motivating your team, you are also responsible for disciplinary procedures and keeping wayward employees in line which can be difficult to do if they see you as more of a friend than a boss.

Copyright: kurhan / 123RF Stock Photo