Being the best manager you can be in the ag business isn’t necessarily a clear path. A great manager is someone who is most importantly a great leader, someone who is able to motivate employees and provide the vision and game plan for broader team success. They require a clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the team and goals of the business. Here are some ideas that will help take you from just a manager to a real leader within your organization.
Leaders Lead While Managers Manage
Leaders are professionals who not only lead but inspire their peers. Honesty and integrity are crucial to building loyalty and motivation on a team. Having a clear vision and inspiration of big picture goals while executing on that mission are hallmarks of a true leader. The ability to challenge and inspire a team to think outside the box and work toward a common goal is a critical part of true leadership. Innovative thinking and collaborative communication are two other elements of strong leadership within the industry.
Balancing Day-to-Day Efforts and Big Picture Strategies
Comparatively, managers are counted on to direct a team to follow strategic direction by breaking it down into smaller tasks. Directing day-to-day work efforts and anticipating needs, following through on commitments, and problem solving are all crucial parts of the management job. But doing so within the context of the big picture is what makes a manager great. A focus on processes, standards, operating procedures, rules, and people shows a high proficiency for management. These are the qualities that will make a team successful.
Manage Through Trust Not Fear
A successful business model is supported by both strong leadership and strong management as these two professional types are necessary for a balanced approach to business. Leadership and management must work hand-in-hand towards a common goal. And through the ups and downs a business will inevitably have, the trust between a manager and an employee is critical in the long-term success of a business. Some managers, bad ones, will rely on fear or intimidation tactics to get what they need done. But that will only result in a team that second guesses every move they make out of fear of doing it wrong or losing their jobs. Trust is what gives employees the confidence to take smart risks and do their best work. Because a business cannot afford to risk losing team members because of clumsy or ego-driven management tactics.
The bottom line is that great managers don’t always start out that way, but everyone who achieves greatness learns that skill through time, dedication, mentorship and commitment to their team and their industry.
Are ready to take your leadership skills to the next level?
Contact the ag career development experts at Ag 1 Source today.