Being a good leader requires you to be a good manager and vice versa. However, leadership and management call for different skills. Management focuses on getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done. You could say managers push and leaders pull.
Management is essentially about controlling tasks and establishing order in the workplace, whereas leadership concerns itself with influencing and motivating staff. First-rate management and leadership are necessary for every business, including the business of medicine. Although distinctly different, they are complementary and both require action.
Strong leadership is needed to motivate employees to do more than the bare minimum. However, leadership without management ultimately results in chaos and unhappy customers or patients. Without leadership and management, improvements and goals are not realized. More than ever, the practice of medicine needs physician leaders and mangers that lead, inspire, and motivate employees to achieve goals that result in safe and cost-effective patient care. Depending too much on either leadership or management can be detrimental to one’s practice.
The most important role in being a productive leader and manager is to build and foster relationships with employees and to encourage employees to build constructive relationships with one another. Healthy relationships are the key to building a work environment where employees want to complete their jobs without being forced to do so, where they want to contribute to improving the organization, and where they can grow professionally and personally. Finding the balance between management and leadership comes down to building healthy relationships.
A few fundamental steps you can take to build and foster constructive relationships are:
Be Aware: Take the time to keep in regular contact with your employees. Listen to what your employees are doing and the challenges they are facing. In turn, they will appreciate the time you took to understand their daily tasks and the effort you took to listen and learn about them.
Expect Responsibility: Hold your employees responsible for their tasks and their to-do lists. You must understand the challenges they face and the amount of work that they are committed to completing.
Provide Authority: Give your employees direction, not directions; i.e., offer guidance, but let them make decisions whenever possible. This behavior on your part will make them feel valuable and encourages them to learn and take on more responsibility.
Inspire: Micro-managers and/or controlling leaders always erect barriers to employee growth and self-reliance. Consequently, they will not take risks and healthy relationships suffer. As a leader and manager, your goal is to create a productive and inviting work environment where necessary tasks are being completed beyond expectations. When positive relationships are built between employees, a productive workplace will result where employees grow, communicate effectively, and the practice succeeds. Be grateful and thank your employees for their work and efforts. Expressing your appreciation is the foundation of inspiration.