Some Final Thoughts on Management and Leadership

Riding off into the sunset
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This will be my last article writing for Management and Leadership. While I’ve enjoyed the experience and am honored to have had the opportunity to contribute, it’s time for me to step aside and turn the reins over to the next Expert.

Truth be told, I want my weekends back. In addition to writing for this section, I also manage the Executive Development Programs at the University of New Hampshire and have my own executive coaching and consulting business.

Writing two articles a week along with the associated promotional requirements (newsletters, social media promotion, and SEO optimization) has become too much for me to juggle and do in a way that makes me feel good about it. As much as I love to think in a small way I’m making a difference in the lives of others by doing all of this stuff, something had to give.

I’m sure the great folks here will come up with a replacement soon, hopefully one of the writers that I’ve recommended. In the meantime, there are some other awesome writers that you can turn to for leadership and management advice, especially Human Resources, written by Susan Heathfield.

I’ll still be maintaining my own Great Leadership blog and tweeting out content, so please continue to follow me @greatleadership.

I’ll leave you with some final thoughts on management and leadership, curated from the over 150 articles I’ve written here.

This isn’t really a “best of”, or “most read” collection. Instead, I’ve sorted them to align with the life cycle of a leader, from aspiring leader to retirement.

To simplify, please allow me to go back and forth between “manager” and “leader”, even though we all know that there is a difference between management and leadership.

Let’s start with aspiring leaders. I wish organizations would read 10 Reasons Why Superstar Employees Make Lousy Managers and stop taking their best employees and promoting them to managers. We keep repeating the same mistake over and over: we take the best salesperson and assume they will be a great sales manager, even though the motivation and skill sets are completely different. We lose our top performing sales rep and end up with ​​a miserable and bad sales manager. We need to become better at understanding what high potential really means

Aspiring leaders should learn about The Top 10 Challenges a Manager Will Face, 8 Myths about Management, and 20 Weird Things That Can Happen When You Become a Manager.

In other words, know what you are getting into to! While a leadership role can be one of the most rewarding and amazing things you can do in life, it’s not for the faint of heart.

Please read and re-read Should I Become a Manager? before taking the leap.

For brand new leaders, here’s my best advice: Tips for New Managers. There’s so much for new managers to learn and it can be overwhelming! You’ll still make mistakes, it’s part of the journey.

For more experienced managers, I think it’s critical to really understand The 10 Essential Roles of a Manager and 10 Important Leadership Qualities.

Then, make continuous improvement as a leader a regular part of your routine. Get regular feedback, read the classics, take courses, and learn from the worst bosses and from amazing mentors.

The best leaders I’ve ever worked with are always looking for ways to get even better and do their best to avoid these 30 Bad Management Behaviors.

Finally, as a leader reaches the twilight of their career, it’s important to know when it’s time to step aside and turn the reins over to a new leader. Francis Hesselbein, considered by Peter Drucker to be one of the greatest leaders of all time, said it best: “Successful transition is the last act of a great leader”.

I wish you all the best in your leadership and management development journey!