The world is filled with managers and leaders. Both are quite necessary for a successful business, but rarely does someone completely master the traits of both. Often visionary entrepreneurs are moved aside for someone who can keep things steady and smooth. Of course when companies grow complacent, it's the leader who charts a new direction and brings the entire ship around.
Which role suits you best? The 10-question quiz below will help you find your path to contentment and success. No need to answer dishonestly since a higher score does not make you a winner. There's no single right answer to each one. Managers and leaders are equally necessary to a well-run company, so there is no single "best" result except the one that's right for you.
At the bottom you will find some score-based descriptions and suggested reading to help you advance your path whether you wish to manage or lead.
- On the morning of a big meeting, two key team members call in sick. You:
- Call them and firmly encourage them to come in anyway.
- Roll up your sleeves and work with the team to get ready.
- Call for a quick 15-minute huddle to redistribute their responsibilities.
- Call in your most trusted player and ask him or her to step in and take charge.
- In the middle of crunch time on a critical project, a pipe bursts in the break room, flooding the whole floor and jeopardizing the computers. You:
- Google the instructions and fix it yourself so the team is minimally disturbed.
- Call an emergency plumber and keep close as he works so it gets done fast.
- Rally the team and get their ideas on how to keep the workflow going.
- Tell your team members to grab their laptops and have your assistant book a large room for the day at a local restaurant.
- It's your job to address the crowd at the quarterly meeting and set the tone for the rest of the year. Your speech emphasizes:
- How great the team is and how much you enjoy working with your people.
- The value to the team of following company procedures to increase productivity.
- The importance of all employees making the sales process "their own" and thinking creatively to get ahead of the trend.
- The exciting new developments in your field and how your company can lead the way to the future.
- Employees who walk in your office know they may find you absorbed in reading:
- The company policies and procedures manual so you can update it.
- The latest industry magazine or the book from that efficiency expert you loved at the last conference.
- A biography of someone whose life inspires you.
- A New York Times bestseller on world trends and rapid change.
- Your team has encountered a major setback, and you call everyone in for a meeting. At the end, your people respond by:
- Quietly returning to their desks, feeling nervous but calmer than before.
- Firing up their computers, initiating your recommended course of action with determination.
- Chiming in with their own suggestions and ideas, which could be incorporated with your own.
- Returning to their desks with genuine excitement, ready to go back to square one if necessary.
- You have just had a great quarter in which the team exceeded all the benchmarks. You:
- Treat them all to a catered lunch.
- Give a rousing speech that personally acknowledges each individual's contribution.
- Invite them to a celebratory strategy session dinner with cocktails to set new benchmarks for the next quarter.
- Plan an off-site retreat, complete with adventure activities, to envision a new audacious goal for the rest of the year.
- The weekend finally arrives after a hectic but very fruitful week. You:
- Decide to sleep in Saturday as a reward.
- Send out a "Great job, everybody!" email before you leave the office on Friday.
- Spend Sunday sketching out ideas to beat your record for the last week.
- Dedicate time each morning to dreaming up an exciting new project to show everyone on Monday morning.
- You have arrived at the annual conference and look over the program of sessions and speeches. You choose to spend most of your time at:
- Workshops and small groups aimed at the key to employee efficiency and satisfaction.
- A keynote and some panels on employee empowerment and growth.
- An all-day workshop on establishing personal and professional trajectories.
- A roundtable with industry leaders, a keynote by a famous entrepreneur, and the networking events.
- There's no avoiding it … you're going to have to cut the well-liked but ineffective staff member. When you call her into your office, after you give the bad news, you:
- Follow with an encouraging speech about the many talents she has that will see her through.
- Offer to be a positive reference for her at future employers.
- Give her the name and number of a colleague with a position that would suit her well.
- Take her to lunch and spend some time discussing a career path she might truly enjoy.
- An employee asks to talk to you about applying for a promotion you know is out of his current reach. Your response is to:
- Gently but firmly suggest he might be ready in a year or so.
- Explain what skills he needs and guide him through a self-assessment.
- Help him lay out a plan for developing the skills he needs and track his progress
- Show him some possibilities for other jobs shifts he has not considered and get him energized about a new direction.
Now total your score.
Each "1" response is worth 1 point.
Each "2" response is worth 2 points.
Each "3" response is worth 3 points.
Each "4" response is worth 4 points.
Where do you fall?
10-15 Points: Dusty Baker
You are a supportive manager. You know the policies and procedures well and try to keep everyone playing nice together. You don't think out of the box much, but you provide steady, consistent guidance.
A company finds you valuable because you keep chaos to a minimum and have tolerance for the things that don't go right all the time. You keep the wheels moving and the drama to a minimum. You won't instigate innovation, or lead the company to No. 1, but you will keep the routine going respectably while the innovation takes place.
If you can engage your teams in a more cooperative manner you'll increase productivity and might surface some new ideas. Try reading The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni.
16-25 points: Phil Jackson
You're good at handling the complexities of a game with many players. You can make adjustments on the fly to keep everyone focused on winning today's game. You have a strategy for the season, but you also believe you can only play one game at a time. You know how to handle a myriad of intense personalities and get them going in the same direction even if they don't all play at their best.
A company needs you because the world changes and you can't run everything the same way forever. You have the ability to take the team members through minor disruptions and get them to improve processes along the way while keeping them happy and satisfied.
You can improve your output by engaging the team in the real numbers of the business. You'll quickly surface hidden talents and energy that will make your team stand out.
Read The Great Game Of Business by Jack Stack and Bo Burlingham to learn how.
26-35 Points: Warren Buffet
You are excellent at recognizing trends and establishing pathways to exploit them. You have no problem inspiring the troops in both hard and exciting times. Your delegation skills are excellent, which allows future leaders to rise and expand on your efforts.
A company needs you because innovative success can't all come from dreaming and ideating. Practical visionaries have to take what exists and build it exponentially without letting the wheels come off the bus.
You can take a step forward for yourself by picturing yourself at the top of the heap and reverse engineering the leader you truly want to be. Try reading The 5 Temptations of a CEO by Patrick Lencioni to help you unleash your preferred future.
36-40 Points: Moses
Your vision is powerful and persuasive. You have the ability to convince large groups of people to pick up and follow you into the wilderness, and great instincts about where to find the Promised Land. When you make mistakes, they can be big ones, but you stay focused on getting everyone safely through the crisis.
You're not the best for maintaining the team on a day-to-day basis, so delegate well to your managers. Use your time for what you do best: exploring, creating, inspiring, and motivating. Give yourself a lot of thinking time so you can resist the impulse of snap-decision orders.
A company needs you because the markets move fast and someone has to set the course. But that same person must show diligence and discipline in understanding that every opportunity is not a good one.
Try reading Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish so you can understand how leadership and management work together for highly productive execution that will lead everyone to the land of milk and honey
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