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Managers and leaders have two different skill sets

Written by Chris Roberts on Wednesday, 20 March 2019. Posted in Finance

You need two sets of skills and people to grow your franchise successfully

Managers and leaders have two different skill sets

If you’re about to become a new franchisee or are relatively new at running your own franchise you must be aware of the two distinct types of people in an organisation – managers and leaders.

You may have been a manager in a past role or you may be basing your actions on a manager who you’ve worked for and possibly admired in the past but in order to become a good leader you’ll need to think differently going forward. For a business to be successful, it’s imperative to have both roles covered. But what is the difference between the two?

The basic distinction is that leaders generally look at the bigger picture and drive change in order to grow and flourish whereas managers usually look to maintain the status quo and work within their given rules or boundaries.

It’s of course important to have both of these qualities for a franchise to be successful. The trick is to get the balance right.

Good leaders must be aware of what’s around the corner and therefore tend to look further into the future and sometimes need to be more entrepreneurial. They’re more keen to try out new things and take risks. Correspondingly, managers are appointed to ensure the business works within the given structures and defined processes which have often been put in place with thought having been given to reducing or eradicating risk.

Managers are generally given responsibility to direct a clearly laid out team of people to work in accordance with set rules or standards. They give direction and monitor performance. 

Leaders need to set and convey those guidelines and inspire managers and their wider teams to perform well, hit targets and genuinely feel that they want to make the business successful.  

A further important distinction is that good leaders set their sights on ultimate goals and have a vision in mind that’s often beyond what the business is currently doing. This means they’ll often be more focused on the long-term. Smaller events will be of less importance to them. Managers, on the other hand, are more concerned with short-term issues and goals that ensure things run smoothly on a day-to-day basis.

You should spend some energy developing both sets of skills. There are some great books and videos on both subjects. Amazon and YouTube make it easy for us all to sharpen our skills.

In summary, it’s important to understand when it comes to looking at management and leadership, neither is better than the other and you need both in order to sustain, grow and run a business well. Depending on the size of your business you may have to wear both hats but hopefully as time goes on you can employ one or more managers and then take on the leadership role in a substantial way. 

About the Author

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts

Chris Roberts is the co-founder of Franchise Finance, the franchise consultancy with a specialism in all things finance. A regular on the training and speaker circuit, Chris draws on career in banking and his knowledge of franchising to helps clients with everything from how to prepare a business plan to the ins and outs of finding investment.



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