Are You A Leader?
Leadership isn’t reserved for the CEO of your company. Whether you recognize it or not, as a facility manager, you are in a leadership role.
To effectively provide facility services, you have to take on a leadership role in the many areas you touch upon daily, whether it’s a current matter or a long-range issue.Within the profession of facility management, there is a great deal of focus on technical knowledge and skills in the many definable areas of the job, all of which are certainly important for success.
But, without leadership, you can’t effectively leverage your own management skills or the skills of your staff. The difference between management and leadership is essentially the difference between timelines and resources. Management is a here and now activity that uses process and resources to efficiently achieve a specific outcome. Leadership, on the other hand, is a forward-looking activity in which a future goal is identified and people are inspired to move towards it. Leadership leverages the value of effective management.
Jim Clemmer, co-founder of The Achieve Group, Canada’s largest training and consulting company, puts it this way,”To lead is to show the way by going in advance. To lead is to guide or direct a course of action. To lead is to influence the behaviour or opinion of others. We all need to be leaders, regardless of our formal title or role.” Facility Management is a complex profession that impacts an organization at many different levels. As a result, the leadership skills you apply must be multi-directional. To achieve this, you must first be able to provide leadership to your staff and contractors towards specific goals and objectives, in addition to providing the ground level management of resources and issues to get the job done.
You must also provide leadership sideways to your colleagues and other business owners within the company to influence and guide their decisions and strategies as they relate to facility’s resources and services.And finally, you need to provide leadership upwards, all the way to the CEO -on facilities issues that affect their decisions and the company as a whole. This includes, among other things, financial leadership, environmental leadership and now even more, leadership on security issues.By looking past the day-to-day management of issues that come your way, and making the time to address and provide leadership over issues that are on the horizon, you will add value to your organization, enhance your career prospects, and increase the profile and status of facilities management.