People Leadership

What skills are missing from your leadership team? 

September 19, 2023

Leadership isn’t simply a synonym for management. In today’s workforce, where retention is crucial, employees look to their supervisors to offer effective support and solutions to drive success. An effective leader has a balanced combination of both leadership and management skills, two broadly different but often confused traits. Learn how to develop an effective leadership team to keep your organization running smoothly.  

What is management?  

Management is a process-driven role. A manager’s primary goal is to direct workflow, operations, and company goals. Managerial tasks often include implementation and evaluation. They may also be required to carry out certain legislative responsibilities, including protecting the health and safety of their employees. A manager should be able to drive outcomes while fostering a good workplace culture and supporting employee growth.  

What is leadership?  

Leadership, on the other hand, is a people-driven role. Leadership focusses on innovation, trust, and motivating employees to do a job well. Effective leaders can foster a positive work atmosphere and build trust with their team. The work of a good leadership team results in high employee engagement and reduced turnover.  

A 2022 report from Gartner revealed that 90% of respondents agreed that leaders must focus on the human aspects of leadership to succeed in today’s work environment. According to their research, Gartner suggests three components of human leadership:  

  • Authenticity: The ability to act with purpose and foster self-expression for themselves and their teams.  
  • Empathy: Showing genuine care, respect, and concern for employees and their wellbeing.  
  • Adaptivity: The ability to remain flexible in order to support their team.  

Only 29% of employees surveyed reported that their leader is a human leader. Developing these skills should be a priority for employers in order to retain top talent and accomplish organizational goals.  

Consequences of toxic leadership 

Toxic leadership, defined by scholars as “a type of leadership characterized by abusive behaviour used to bully or manipulate people,” can poison a work environment. Among the many negative repercussions of toxic leadership, organizations may experience:  

  • High turnover;  
  • Counterproductive work behaviour;  
  • Reduced motivation and performance;  
  • More frequent incidents of workplace violence and harassment; and 
  • Low job satisfaction.  

Use 360-degree surveys to collect anonymous employee feedback on the management team within your organization. Identify toxic leadership and root out problematic behaviours as soon as possible.  

Finding a balance 

While they are different, leadership and management go hand in hand; leadership is an essential part of effective management, and management is an essential part of leadership. An imbalance in these two traits won’t work. If your organization exhibits stronger management skills than leadership skills, there may become a lack of vision, limited room for innovation, reduced engagement, and difficulty adapting to change. Leadership skills without management skills could lead to lack of implementation, inefficiencies in operations, difficulty meeting deadlines, and lack of accountability.  

Creating equilibrium between leadership and management skills is crucial for overall organizational success. Leaders with both traits foster a balance between inspiration and direction. Understanding and developing management and leadership skills within your organization can lead to:  

  • Higher engagement;  
  • Improved performance;  
  • Effective decision-making;  
  • Greater adaptability;  
  • Better navigation of difficult situations;  
  • More diverse teams; and 
  • Achieving operational and strategic objectives.  

Develop skills for an effective leadership team 

Develop employee management and leadership and leadership skills in four simple steps:  

  1. Determine a way to measure current performance and evaluate growth in management and leadership skills.  
  2. Set reasonable goals and create realistic strategies to achieve them.  
  3. Set clear expectations for leaders within the company.  
  4. Design an effective strategy to develop talent.  

Education, exposure, experience, and environment all play key roles in creating the ideal balance. With time and commitment, equilibrium and organizational success will follow. Our FREE Guide to Developing Leadership and Management Skills describes how to accomplish each of these steps with resources and effective strategies.