Managers Versus Leaders…

Well, it is that time of year again…we are about to open another new school year! We did receive great news recently about our school accountability, and what is great about it is that it has made my staff realize how amazing they are…and that they actually can do hard things! These are things I have reflected on quite a bit this summer, and while reflecting, I always look at how I impacted the good and the bad…and how I need to adjust to make my staff’s environment the best to help them be their best.

As I reflected most recently, I thought about times this past year when I truly served my staff as a leader…and times when I found myself to be a manager. It makes me think about when and where you have to move between the two…and what “hat” you wear and the outcome it will have.

I truly believe that there is a big difference between the two…I believe that you manage work and you lead people. Clearly, there are times when you have to manage. Paperwork, reports, when a staff member is continually breaking a rule, etc. I find that these are the “icky” times of my job. I often joke with my staff, saying “I don’t want to micro-manage, but if we can’t get on track with this, that is the hat I will have to wear.” I believe that anyone can be taught how to manage…especially if you have some skills that you excel in, like organization, time management, and punctuality. And, in my experiences as a supervisor, I have seen many managers.

Leadership is different. You lead people. You build your people. You promote your people. You motivate your people. As a leader, you get your people to want to follow you, to want to do their best, to want to not break rules. Can you grow a leader? Sure…but the skillset is much different. To be a leader you need charisma, problem solving skills, delegation skills, motivational skills, and just plain good people skills. It is why I focus so much with my students and people in my care on building the soft skills…because a good leader cannot do the job without them. And in my experiences as a supervisor, I have seen many leaders.

So, in my 16 years of school leadership…have I been a manager…yes! Have I been a leader…yes! And when have I gotten the best results….when I lead my people! Sure, my job has times when I have to wear both hats, and change quickly between the two…which after years of experience, you get better at this. But, I challenge all of you supervisors out there….are you doing more managing or leading? And, if you are doing more managing, is it working? What would happen if you reframed that and focused on the leadership of your people? I find it will make a huge difference, not just for your organization, but for your people and for YOU! Try it out! Until next time! Cheri ❤️

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