This week our challenge is for women in tech who are new to manager or leader roles. Or plan to be soon.
Do you want to be a manager or a leader?
A manager gets it done. She understands the task, has the resources and follows the rules and gets it done. She has numbers and deadlines to meet and she makes sure that her team does it. If she encounters a hiccup she adjusts and pivots. If it interferes with a deadline or incurs more costs then she makes sure that she communicates this directly and early to her boss.
Companies can’t function with out managers.
They are important roles and can be tremendously fulfilling as you conquer the challenges. Your style may be quite straightforward. Here’s the task and yes you have to do it. It’s kind of a one and done thing and then onto the next project.
A leader also has many of the same responsibilities but adds in vision and inspiration. A vision of where her team, department, employees, projects are going. It’s a longer view approach. The leaders want to emotionally enroll her staff in the vision. She shares it often. A smart leader ensures that it is always aligned with the companies strategic goals.
She is aware that her own career goals as well as those of everyone on her team. She inspires her team daily. That alone makes an enormous difference and explains how they achieve nearly herculean tasks.
I have a friend who was beyond stunned at the annual goals her department was given for 2016. It was more than twice what they had accomplished the previous year and there would be no more resources added. This was their challenge and it was her job as the manger to get it done.
The thing is this person is totally a leader. She deeply cares about the career path of every single person on her team. She constantly tasks them with projects that she knows will challenge them in their area of interest. She has built a team that honestly interacts with each other and celebrates each other’s successes. Was it easy? NO. In fact she originally got a lot of pushback from the top – but she kept at it.
She loves her team and they love her as well. The result. That impossible goal for 2017 – the one that at times she secretly felt she couldn’t do was achieved during the first quarter. THE FIRST QUARTER.
She has created a loyal team that truly cares about each other. A team that grows on a regular basis and achieves the impossible. She has enrolled her team in the vision.
So women in tech this weeks challenge is to decide if you want to be a leader or a manager. Both are great one is exceptional.