Business Consultancy Blog

Don't be disillusioned, to become a Great Leader, learn and understand, it's a huge step-up from Management.

Steven-Gerrard-2---courtest-of-shutterstock Leader or Manager?

Hearing the news overnight of Steven Gerrard's sacking as manager of Aston Villa is disappointing however summed up in former Newcastle striker Les Ferdinand comment: "He was captain marvel as a player; he was the one who lifted the team, who dragged them through tough times. But, he can't do that from the bench."

BBC article

For many of us who get promoted through the ranks and find ourselves in those lofty leadership positions, it can be daunting at first, and a real tumultuous time as you adjust and learn how to lead, and not manage. For some, it turns out not to be a successful move. But be resilient and I expect Steven to be back leading a club in the near furture.

Becoming an effective leader can also be one of the main challenges as a business owner. As your business grows and you recruit more resource, ultimately you can't directly manage everyone, you won't have the time to be effective. Therefore, you need to develop an organisational structure where you lead and ultimately manage through others (team leaders, departmental managers). And this requires a real change in your management and leadership approach.

There's an excellent book by Marshall Goldsmith that I was given when I first took on a leadership role "What Got you Here, Won't get you There" and certainly worth a read or listen if you are faced with leadership challenges today.

For me and from what I learned, there are some fundamental differences between Leadership and Management.


  • Set Direction - Share the strategy, by being clear on the organisations Vision, Mission and living and breathing their Values.
  • Inspire and Motivate their teams - Taking the time to engage with all stakeholders and walking the talk


  • Plan, organise and coordinate - implement and deliver the Strategy.
  • Manage Performance - as a team and support individually through 1-2-1s too.

Now, as an SME business owner you may have to wear two hats, however, learn how to display and exude the appropriate behaviours whether in a leading role today or a manager role tomorrow, as the two roles are completely different.

The tendency will be to do both at the same time, but  you can't drive performance management through micro-management as a leader, as this is where you will become unstuck. As a leader you are there to support and coach your team leaders/department managers to drive continual improvement through their teams.

What tips or experience do you have to share, regarding how you need to grow as a person to become a successful leader compared to having been a great manager in the past?

Happy to discuss and explore further and my contact details are below.

Peter Fleming

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Mobile 07966 686112

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Tuesday, 28 May 2024

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