At the heart of all managers is a desire to be successful. However, success means different things to different people. To one manager, success may be a six-figure salary. To another, money has very little meaning, and success involves gaining the respect of colleagues and recognition as an active leader. To someone else, success is achieving the ever-elusive work-life balance.
One can never predict all the situations in which a manager will need to make choices on what to do next, how to decide something, or which initiative to take. However, because we know with absolute certainty that uncertainty exists, it should be enough to remind managers that their leadership requires that they are prepared for the unexpected by anticipating it.
Why do so many organizations fail to realize their goals? Because while they can put their vision and mission into words, they neglect to develop an effective strategy dedicated to achieving success.
Strategy development and execution do not happen overnight; it is a process that involves engaging all the people in your organization, generating input and gaining insight. For any strategy to be successful, you need to fully understand all the unique issues, challenges, and opportunities of your employees to ensure their buy-in in the execution of strategies.
The research proving the importance of employee engagement is overwhelming. Companies with engaged employees are more productive, profitable, and ultimately; successfully engaged employees are more likely to stay, less likely to burn out, and become advocates for the company brand.
For these reasons, organizations go to great lengths to better understand how to improve engagement in their employees. Unfortunately, they often make the mistake of relying too heavily on the results of employee engagement surveys.
But in fact all managers must lead, and all leaders must manage. This is a distinction between the two that goes far beyond semantics.