Managing or Leading

The distinction between leader and manager has been the subject of much debate and research. In an era of rapid change, new ways of working have emerged and are impacting every aspect of our lives. As a result, leadership and management have become complementary systems of action and necessary for success in today’s business environment. The key is to combine strong leadership and strong management and use each to balance the other.

Leading Through Tension

Leading through tension isn’t fun. It requires us to challenge our team’s way of thinking, their attitudes, and their emotional responses. There is a relational shift from pleasing people to challenging people, and we have to manage people through this process.

One way is by using the 25-50-25 Principle of Change. Whenever we cast vision and challenge people to become part of achieving an endeavor, they tend to fall into one of three groups. Typically, 25% of the people will be all in, 50% will be undecided, and 25% will resist change. Our job as a leader is to help the middle 50 percent join the first 25 percent.

Here are some tips for doing that:

1. Understand that the resistant bottom 25 percent is not going to change no matter what we do.

2. Don’t waste effort trying to make the resistant 25 percent happy.

3. Don’t give the bottom 25 percent a platform or credibility.

4. Create opportunities for the middle 50 percent to spend time with the top 25 percent.

5. Ask the 25 percent who are all in, to help positively influence the 50 percent who are undecided.

6. Give the supportive 25 percent credibility and a platform to speak.

Reference: John C. Maxwell, Leadershift