» Leader or Manager?
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Steven Jeffers

Leader or Manager?

Leader or Manager?

If you own a small business, you are more of a leader or more of a manager? As an entrepreneur, you need to be both, but these roles require different approaches.

A leader looks at the big picture, sets high-level goals and strategy, established clear standards and values, motivates, identifies opportunities and threats on a business-wide level, measures success at the financial and strategic level and empowers others to take action.

A manager looks at the details, identifies tasks for employees and the organization, trains or arranges for training, solicits input from others on how to improve operations, identifies opportunities and problems on an operational level and measures success at that level.

As management guru Peter Drucker once said, “Management is doing things right, Leadership is doing the right things” A business needs both.

In a big corporation, you often have two different people handling these roles: The CEO (Chief Executive Officer) setting directions and vision; the COO (Chief Operating Officer) making sure decisions get executed properly.

In your small business, it’s unlikely you have that option. You have to be able to switch back and forth between the two roles.

If you are only a manager, your focus is too short-sighted. you don’t provide the vision your company needs to survive and grow. You’ll find you’re not responding to changing conditions not developing new business, not keeping up with the competition. And your employees may not feel motivate or engaged.

If you are only a leader; your vision is too grand. You don’t provide the day-to-day oversight and guidance needed to make sure things are being done on time and on budget. Customer service slips; profit margins shrink. Employees may feel you don’t notice or care about their personal performance.

Lead and manage. Entrepreneurs generally excel at one but not both. As a business owner, you need both skills. It’s a tough job, but you can do it!

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