Lead a horse to water

As the saying goes, “you cant lead a horse to water”… The same is for a team, you can be a great leader, but it takes a great manager combined with a great leader to gain true success.

Every successful team needs the right mix of Leaders and Managers. Most naturaly wish to be the former, and think of the latter as egocentrics, but I promise, a good manager is far from this perception.

Whilst a leader naturally gains respect and followers, a manager demands respect and delivery to processes. Reading this interpretation again you may the latter may sound like a bit of a twat but I assure you both are absolutely essential and no leader can be successful without strong, boundaried, process led and ethical managers behind them. Did you see that word? Let me emphasise it again ‘ethical’. This is what differentiates the morons from the almighties in manager world. Without good, organised, focused, strong and ethical managers with good processes and boundaries, no team will truly be happy nor successful. Too many of them and no influential, motivational leaders and there is nothing to achieve and no energy with which to achieve it.

The Leader
How many dictators do you know that have lasted? They all fall eventually and mostly with a nasty thud.

No, you cannot dictate to be a leader and whilst I do know some that are unethical, and they may seem to last a while, they most definitely do make enemies and isolate themselves and their organisations. To me being a leader means you must be kind, honest, inspirational and non-negatively emotional in difficult situations – pan faced maybe, but not an arse. This, while potentially not venting your true feelings, will more likely gain the result you need.

In my time I can most definitely assure you that I have made a few enemies, but on the whole I have worked hard to prevent this.

The Manager
Whilst the leader is there for your teams to aspire to, your managers are there to do the ground work (sometimes known as the dirty work or the hard work) for you. Yes successful managers, you are the bad cop to your leaders good cop. Managers are the organised ones in control of the day-to-day process implementation and basic disciplinary. Your successful managers must stand behind the leaders like walls of a dam…. Letting only a little of the leaders wild waters and ways overflow on to the team. They are what keeps all ticking smoothly and allow the leader the freedom and the energy to take the business profile onwards and upwards.

Empowered Teams
Once you are sure you have an encouraging balance of one or few strong, respected leaders at the top supported by the required influential and fastidious managers below only then do you have fully empowered teams. Teams of the future….

Written by Jenny Arnold