Management and leadership can make a huge difference in a company and in the careers of its employees. While you can only have so many managers, is it possible to have too many leaders?
First, what's the difference? Management refers to a person or group of people in an official position in an organization.
Leadership, on the other hand, is not "official" or "formal," but it is as real as a manager's title. Leaders motivate those around them to excellence or goal attainment. They may also be managers, but rarely does their title include "leader."
Managers can create movement or change, but it is done via their rank, position or authority; leaders do these things, too, but by people voluntarily following their example and advice.
Become a natural leader
When staffing your store, you only have so many titles to go around because there are only so many things to officially manage. However, I think you can never have too many leaders.
Positive leaders, striving to not only do their best but also to encourage those around them to do the same, are a tremendous asset to your store.
Exposure to leadership is one of the many benefits gained by attending events such as Natural Products Expo East. Our industry is fortunate to be full of men and women of extraordinary drive, talent and heart. Apart from attending education and getting show deals, meeting these enthusiastic leaders is a highlight.
Lead by example
At the show, I enjoyed sharing insights with three great retailers and true industry leaders Michael Kanter of Cambridge Naturals, Dean Nelson of Dean's Natural Foods and Debra Stark of Debra's Natural Gourmet.
All lead thriving natural stores. Like true leaders, they shared their thoughts and insights in a session called "The Top 10 Retail Problems and How to Solve Them."
If you value the natural products industry, consider how you can invest your time to help it grow. Great organizations like the Natural Products Association (nationally and regionally), the Organic Trade Association, the Non-GMO Project, and many others would benefit greatly.
What are your thoughts on managing vs. leadership? Share in the comments.