CAGE Distance Framework
Want to expand overseas? The CAGE distance framework can help ensure you're constructing a solid global strategy in four areas: cultural, administrative, economic, and geographic. Learn how to leverage useful differences between countries, identify potential obstacles, and achieve global business success.
There's more to leadership than driving a team to profit. In fact, there's a word for looking beyond self-interest to prioritize individual growth: servant leadership. Try this course for a quick breakdown of what that is, how it works, and how it can lead to organizational success.
Strategy: Creating Value Inside Your Company
Have you ever wondered why certain companies are more successful than others? The answer is strategy: internal processes that control costs, allocate resources, and create value. This course from GLOBIS Unlimited can give you the tools you need for that strategic edge.
Strategy: Understanding the External Environment
To plan strategy on any level, you need to understand your company's external environment. In fact, your level of understanding can impact hiring, budgeting, marketing, or nearly any other part of the business world. Want to learn how to do all that? This course from GLOBIS Unlimited is the perfect first step!
Using Japanese Values to Thrive in Global Business
Japanese companies have unique cultural, communication, and operational challenges. But they also have values that have led to remarkable longevity. Check out this seminar to hear how these values help earn trust from overseas head offices and develop employees.
Marketing: Reaching Your Target
Every company works hard to get its products into the hands of customers. Are you doing everything you can to compete? In this course, you’ll find a winning formula to turn a product idea into real sales. Follow along through the fundamentals of the marketing mix and see how companies successfully bring products to market.
Basic Accounting: Financial Analysis
Want to compare your performance vs. a competitor? Or evaluate a potential vendor? Then you'll need to conduct a financial analysis. This course will teach you how to use three financial statements and evaluate financial performance in terms of profitability, efficiency, soundness, growth, and overall strength.
What drives you to be good at your job?
Career anchors are based on your values, desires, motivations, and abilities. They are the immovable parts of your professional self-image that guide you throughout your career journey.
Try this short GLOBIS Unlimited course to identify which of the eight career anchors is yours!
Leadership with Passion through Kokorozashi
The key ingredient to success? Passion.
Finding your kokorozashi will unify your passions and skills to create positive change in society. This GLOBIS Unlimited course will help you develop the values and lifelong goals you need to become a strong, passion-driven leader.
“Don’t be a manager, be a leader.”
I’ve been working in the field of leadership development for more than twenty years. This is a quote that I’m very familiar with—I’ve said it myself many times in my career. When I shared it in my workshops, people nodded in agreement and eagerly added their thoughts:
Leaders are visionaries, pro-active and forward thinking.
Managers are boring, administrative, obsessed with tasks.
Leaders are empathic, caring, and inspiring.
Managers are bossy, pompous slave drivers.
Plenty of others agree with this distinction, insisting that we should aspire to be “leaders, not managers.” After all, that’s why we talk about “leadership development” not “manager development,” right? The value of leaders over managers has become indisputable when it comes to developing talent in an organization.
But today, I no longer believe this. The claim that leaders are better than managers is a myth.
New Definitions for “Leader” and “Manager”
Many forward-thinking companies are now consciously using the word “manager” instead of “leader.” Facebook HR executives talk about how to distinguish great managers from okay managers. Google Guides promotes manager development.
When I was working with Gallup for my Strengths Coach certification, I found they kept referring to “helping out the manager.” I had to ask myself: Why the manager and not the leader?
As it turns out, newer organizations have rewritten the definitions of “manager” and “leader.” The new definitions better explain the beauty and power of each role—and show how different they are. It’s a crucial difference that explains a lot when we look at the people on top and where the organization is going.
Great leaders look outward.
Great leaders look outward. They look at competition, look at the future for alternatives, patterns, connections. They create the vision and strategy that will lead us forward.
Great managers look inward.
Great managers look inward. They look inside the company, at each individual and the styles, goals, needs of each person. They help transform unique talents into performance.
So which is better?
You can be a great leader, but not a great manager. This happens when your vision is clear, the strategy is correct, but you can’t get people to work together to get there.
You can be a great manager, but not a great leader. You can get teams together to work to a common goal—the question is, “Is it the right goal?”
You can be neither a good manager nor a great leader. Or, in very rare cases, you could be both. The point is, they’re different.
The difference between managers and leaders is so crucial that Gallup’s book It’s the Manager claims that the quality of managers (not leaders) is actually the single biggest factor in your organization’s long-term success. And when you really think about it, that makes a lot of sense. You need leaders to set the direction, but it’s really the people who bring us to the destination, especially in larger organizations.
The Main Driver of Business? People
People still drive the business. This is why, from a balance sheet perspective, the cost of people is still one of the biggest entries. It is incredibly hard to scale an organization without people. Therefore, how we take care of our people ultimately dictates whether our organization will succeed.
Taking care of people is ultimately the most important role of a manager.
Why? Because how people feel about their manager is likely how they feel about their organization. Does my immediate superior care for me? Does he inspire me? Most employees don’t really look at the company as a whole. As far as they are concerned, the manager is the organization.
Data has proven this, too. In Gallup’s most recent findings, at least 70% of variance in engagement is attributed to the manager. Employees who are disengaged are prone to be more absent, be less concerned with customers and profitability, and ultimately have lower performance. High employee engagement has been correlated to the opposite, plus higher revenue and fewer safety incidents, among other things. Research shows that companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147% in earnings per share.
Moreover, the quality of the manager has a major impact on turnover: one out of two employees leave their company to get away from a manager at some point in their career.
So what does all this tell us? That we need managers, not just leaders.
Yes, we need vision, and yes, we need to compete. But we also need people who are talented in developing people. How do we get them? You could go out and look for them. Or you could build them yourself within your organization.
How to Build Star Managers and Leaders
Take a good strong look at your talent development. Specifically, how do you promote people? If you are like most companies, you probably look at the following:
- KPI performance
How do your people perform in their functional, non-people-oriented role? Did they hit their sales target, for example? Or save on costs?
How long have your people been in the organization?
Although these factors make sense on the surface, this is a strong recipe for turning great performers into bad managers. Specifically, it’s how you get managers who say, “I just want to sell” and “Taking care of people is such a drag.” If you’re hearing this, it indicates a mismatch in the promotion process—an artifact of an old, universally linear career path in which people were promoted to manage others merely because they exceled as individuals.
This approach to talent management is now obsolete. To begin with, there are now paths for higher pay and incentives for those who want to remain individual contributors. People are no longer forced to manage a team in order to grow within the organization. This is how you prevent the infamous “Peter Principle,” through which people are promoted until they become incompetent.
Newer organizations carve distinct career paths for rising leaders and managers—ones that match the new definitions of those roles.
To begin with, these organizations put systems in place to identify and develop managers who may not have the higher performance metrics, but do have the high talent to develop people. We see this pattern in tech companies such as Google, where the manager is not the best programmer, but is the best at taking care of people. Such managers were commonly overlooked for promotion in the past, despite actually being the best fit for the role.
If you’re really lucky, it is possible to find people who are highly talented both as leaders and as managers—what Good to Great considers the “Level 5 Leader.” These rare individuals have a combination of vision and great people skills. If you find them, you would do well to invest and develop them, even consider a special fast track.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking everyone can fill both roles!
Manager vs. Leader vs. You
To appropriately identify whether your people are leaders or managers, you must understand what people uniquely do best and match them to the right role. The best way to ensure growth is not to try and make someone who they aren’t.
Instead, maximize their potential by investing in and developing them for the right role. Acknowledge their strengths, their individuality, and use what makes them different. Not everyone actually wants to be a manager (or a leader), after all.
So the next time someone says “Don’t be a manager, be a leader,” don’t buy into the myth. Stop believing one is better than the other—or that everyone can be both. Every organization needs both managers and leaders.
And what about you? Should you be a manager or a leader? Forget “should.” Just make yourself the best version of who you are.