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The Classic Entrepreneurial Pitfall?

Just as in my last post, let me say again that effective management is key to any organization and many “managers” develop into exceptional leaders. Policy, compliance, metrics and HR are necessary for any firm attempting to grow revenue and profit simultaneously. In fact, great leaders must be able to don the management “cap” or at the very least, leaders must understand, respect and support the people that are tasked with management.

All that said, unchecked management, meaning mangers parading around as leaders, will eventually level a company to flat performance. In business, just as in life, if you are not growing, you are dying. In short, management is not leadership.

Managers define the parameters of the box (performance) and then ensure that people act accordingly. Leaders, on the other hand, see beyond the box and work to grow people beyond imposed limitations. Managers need to control, while leaders strive to let go. Leaders live to nurture people and to help others succeed. When a great leader is named CEO, their first thought would be “Who will succeed me? Who will I mentor and how can I aid that person in taking the company beyond my abilities?” Managers transact while leaders transform.

True leaders act transparently sharing everything they know with their people, cards fully on the table. Working with people who posses more talent, skills and potential than themselves is a source of inspiration to leaders, a reason to be in business, get out of bed, in short, a purpose.

Managers on the other hand struggle with the aforementioned concepts. The thought of grooming ones replacement seems counter intuitive to many managers, “Why would I help someone succeed me when I have worked so hard to get where I am, nope, my cards are remaining high”

You see this issue often with founding entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurs feel that no one can operate their business as effectively as they. Said entrepreneurs usually achieve a certain level of success and then flat line. This issue has nothing to do with any classic “entrepreneurial pitfalls” and everything to do with leadership or lack thereof.

The entrepreneur that can’t let go is no different than the manager who guards his position. In both cases the person in question does not understand, value or prefer meaningful leadership they prefer to manage or control.

Dave Notte

About the Author: Dave Notte

Dave Notte is the founder of Wolfgang Commercial Painters, one of Metro Vancouver's largest commercial and strata painting companies.

Wolfgang Commercial Painters

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