What would best describe the leadership style of your call center managers; caretakers or transformers? Managers care for the continuation of an organization and its needs while leaders transform the way the organization exists. Some in the business world would define a manager as too concerned with the status quo to move into the future, and others would criticize a leader for having his head in the clouds and not being concerned about the daily functions of the company. Either criticism of these management styles is too harsh and unrealistic. Here are some of the differences between manager and leader styles of leadership and why they are both needed.
Management tasks involve taking care of an organization and enabling it to meet its demands. Managers inquire the absolutes of how a project can be done and when it will be achieved. Management includes forecasting, planning, and budgeting in order to achieve company goals. This involves logistics to make sure that the necessary resources are in place.
Management institutes rules and procedures to regulate and standardize work output. A manager delegates tasks and guides team members to achieve goals. This structural approach which includes the monitoring of implementation is seen as paving the way to meet company objectives. This facilitates predictability and an emphasis on short-term results of timeliness and at or below budget.
Leadership tasks include positively transforming workplace culture. Leaders ask why a certain work policy is in place and wonder what can be done in the future so it will be improved. Even an average call center agent can turn into a leader by having a vision of how the organization can be optimized and a passion for carrying it out. A leader has a longer term vision of what direction will make the company successful and can see the big picture of what is needed to bring that vision to fruition.
Leaders utilize both words and action in communicating their vision for the organization and place emphasis on cooperation and forming strong coalitions to succeed. They motivate other call center managers to look beyond obstacles formed by the status quo and plan to make positive changes that are dramatic transformations over the long term. Because a leader respects each call center agent’s inherent stake in the change process, efforts for change can be multiplied by many. In turn, the services a company provides will be sought after and profitability will rise.
In today’s business world, precise planning and agile responses to consumer demands are both expected and necessary to stay relevant. It is possible that both the manager and leader styles can be combined for the best of both worlds in an organization. The truth is, every successful call center needs both managers to get the job done with adequate resources and leaders to foresee how the call center can re-envision and optimize operations in the future. A hybrid approach to management style can ensure that both the present and the future of the company has the best chance of being a bright one. Inspiration, empowerment, and transformation can exist alongside logistical planning, budgets, and defined procedures.