flexing between leadership and management

Paul Coyle, Director, Entrepreneurial Mindset Network, France.

This article was first published in 2020 in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Network eZINE Volume 3 no 1

To raise the performance of the people in your team, you need to be able to flex between leadership and management. 

On the one hand, through your leadership, you can inspire and motivate people.  On the other hand, through your management, you can ensure things get done.  Flexing between leadership and management is important.  

All leadership with no management and people will soon get tired of your fine words that never come to anything. All management with no leadership and people will become demotivated by your rule book.  

A simple model with four quadrants illustrates these points: 

* Quadrant 1: When performance is strong and you demonstrate leadership, then you coach and advise people so that they can sustain their high achievements

* Quadrant 2: When performance is strong and you exercise management, then you enable people by listening to them and taking action to resolve the problems that are beyond their control 

* Quadrant 3: When performance is poor and you use your leadership, then you find ways to motivate and inspire people to raise their game and help them to see the part they can play

* Quadrant 4: When performance is poor and you take management action, then you spell out what people need to do, give instructions if necessary and are explicit about the consequences of underperforming 

Image credit: Entrepreneurial Mindset Network

Examples of what you might say in each quadrant

Q1 “ You are doing a great job - keep it up!”

Q2 “How can I help you overcome the problems you are having?”

Q3 “Our customers are counting on you to do this.”

Q4 “I need you to do this by Friday. Ask me if you are not clear.”

Questions to ask yourself

A What types of feedback do I need to give to the members of my team?

B What types of feedback do I need to ask my boss to give me?

Leadership AND management - it’s a balancing act which should not depend on your personal characteristics or your preferences. 

Of course everyone would prefer to be coaching high fliers rather than managing under performance but don’t shy away from operating in quadrant 4!  

The choice of whether you should ‘coach’, ‘enable’, ‘motivate’ or ‘instruct’ is dependent on what each person in your team needs to improve or sustain their performance.  

You will use each of the 4 quadrants at different times with the same person, maybe even flexing between the quadrants within just one conversation! ◼️