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Who's running your business, managers or leaders?

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

As a business owner, CEO, or President you have lots to think about each day; finances, sales revenues, efficient operations and customer service to name a few. As your business grows you hire people to manage all of these functions for you. Making the right choice in these hires is critically important to your on-going success. But do you ever stop to evaluate the ability of your direct reports to lead rather than manage your people?

For the purpose of this discussion let’s define a leader as a person who can lead a team through more than one layer of management. Imagine you have a sales leader who oversees three sales managers, each of whom has 7 salespeople reporting to them. The leader’s job is to set direction and provide a vision and plan for their managers to execute. They are leading a team of 24 (three managers plus 21 sales people) while simultaneously managing 3 direct reports. Let’s assume most leaders can manage but the opposite is not always necessarily true.

Leadership requires managers to learn a new set of skills. Leaders need to be able to communicate clearly, delegate effectively, and create strategy. You also want your leaders to be able to buy into, articulate and live the company’s mission and values.

Successful leaders are meant to ensure the company is on a trajectory for greater growth. It’s their job to meaningfully improve the business by guiding others towards being great in their roles. It’s the leader’s job to teach people how to set goals, prioritize actions and make informed decisions.

Your job as the business leader is to help your subordinates hone their skill sets to such a point that they can still succeed despite your absence. This insures a productive and engaged team and also insures your business will run the way you want it to with or without you. This is a key element in creating lasting value in your business.

If you would like to discuss your leadership training needs or challenges in developing a high performing organization please contact me at for a free consultation.


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