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Last Updated on December 8, 2020

7 Ways to Improve Your Management Leadership Skills

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7 Ways to Improve Your Management Leadership Skills

We all want to be better management leaders. As employers or as managers, management leadership is something that consciously and subconsciously affects all our moves.

But do we fully understand what this really means?

Management and leadership are two separate terms. However, since they go hand in hand and work in unison, management leadership is referred to as one skill.

In a work environment, a healthy balance of both these ideas is important.

In this article, you’ll find out what management and leadership mean on their own as well as a combined concept. Along with this, you’ll learn 7 ways to maintain a balanced management leadership role.

The Role of a Manager

Since you are in authority, it is okay if you mend the rules every now and then. In fact, you are expected to go out of the box to take risks that will allow the entire team to work above and beyond boundaries.

This does not affect your job because as a leader, you are only looking at the bigger picture: the end result.

On the other hand, a manager works in a completely opposite manner. While a manager also maintains an image of authority, this power does not give the manager any supremacy over the rest of the team.

Instead, a manager is expected to work with the team on an equal level. This is why as a manager, you cannot break rules or take risks.

A manager’s role is to get the job done. How the team is managed to get the desired result is all up to the manager. So, every step that is taken to achieve a bigger goal is to be handled by the manager.

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A work team is like a machine. Every part is doing its job to achieve a common goal.

A manager is a part of this machine, although more crucial than the rest. However, a leader is only an external force that can control the machine but isn’t working within the machine like everybody else.

How to Balance Leadership and Management Roles?

You might be confused at this point.

We just discussed the differences between a manager and a leader. These two roles seem to be quite clashing. Yet, you are expected to somehow juggle both of them simultaneously.

When you get into the practical world, you’ll realize that you actually need to take on both these duties to maintain a running work environment.[1]

There are times when the team needs a motivational boost from a leader. But at other times, you have to step down at the same level as the rest of the team to help them tackle problems.

Without the role of a leader, a manager can never encourage any team to get creative. It is only when you’re ready to break rules and go against the flow that you can come up with something new and exciting.

Similarly, if you only focus on the bigger picture without considering the path, your dreams will never turn to reality. This is where a manager does the magic.

All in all, management leadership is one role that has to be fulfilled remarkably.

Things do get a bit clearer if you have other superiors over you. If the orders and suggestions are coming from above, you cannot really work as a leader. All that you are expected to do is behave like a manager.

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On the contrary, when you are given complete autonomy over a project, you can quickly put on the leadership hat.

First, inspire your team to come up with ideas that can be implemented to achieve the desired final result. After that, work as a manager to delegate tasks and ensure productivity.

7 Ways to Maintain a Balanced Management Leadership Role

Now that the idea of management leadership is clear in your mind, it’s time for you to work on improving this skill.

Here are 7 easy tips you can use to become a better manager and leader altogether!

1. Be a Role Model

Whether you’re acting as a leader or a manager, you are someone your team looks up to. This is why you need to be exactly who you want your team members to be.

Do you want everyone to be punctual? Stop being late yourself, even if it’s just a minute.

Would you prefer an optimistic aura in your workplace? Start practicing positivity yourself.

Believe it or not, people only do what they see as opposed to what they hear. So instead of talking the talk, start walking the walk and see how everyone else will follow.

2. Communicate the Bigger Picture

When you’re in the process of achieving a goal, you usually take on the role of a manager. At this point, you’re so focused on communicating the individual tasks that you can sometimes forget the bigger picture because that is what a leader is supposed to do.

However, without the expected outcome in mind, you and your team cannot produce it.

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Communicate the expectations very clearly as you’re delegating the tasks. So basically, this is where you have to act as a leader and a manager side by side.

3. Be Decisive

Your decision power is vital. A strong, decisive management leader makes the job easy for everyone. The team can put their trust in their supervisor, and you as the supervisor should be able to make firm choices.

No matter how unexpected of an issue or situation arises, your decisive power shouldn’t waver to maintain high morale and discipline.

The team will be able to put their trust in you. They will always know you’ll come up with a solid solution and so, they can focus their attention on more important tasks instead of minor worries like these.

Also, it saves a lot of time because you are always sure of what you want and what is completely off-limits for the team.

4. Have a Listening Ear

Management leaders can sometimes become too strict. In hopes of maintaining authority, they become so unreachable that they lose any connection with the team.

As a manager, it is your duty to work alongside your team to keep the machine running smoothly. Even as a leader and despite being an external force, you have to be involved enough to know how to keep the machine going.

Offer an open ear to listen to team conflicts, complaints regarding your role, feedback, suggestions, and anything else that your team members have to say.

Also, don’t just listen and ignore it. Act on it so that everyone feels heard and secure.

5. Accept Differences

Two people may be looking at the same thing and still not see it the same way. This is just how humans are.

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The day you accept this fact, you’ll instantly become much better at management leadership. You won’t expect your team to receive a carbon copy of what’s in your brain.

When you start accepting differences, you’ll be okay with people working in their comfort zones. Once that starts happening, your team will start to produce something beyond your expectations.

6. Build Your Team

As a management leader, your ultimate job is to build your team. Support them and empower them. Include people from varying backgrounds, with different skill sets, with different work styles, and maintain a healthy balance of variations.

With more brains on the team, you’ll get insight from different perspectives and that only broadens your options. Nothing can be more satisfying to a leader than a team like this.

This is also why inclusive teams and leaders are proven to produce better outputs.[2]

7. Never Stop Learning

It may be hard for you to comprehend but just because you’re at a higher authority level doesn’t mean you’ve learned everything.

There’s always room to grow. And this growth comes from learning. Continue to strive to improve your role as a management leader.

When your team sees that you continuously struggle to become better, they will follow you on the same route. Overall, continuous learning will reap better results for you and your organization.

Conclusion

The ball is now in your court. All that’s left to do now to become a better management leader is the application of this knowledge.

Take it one step at a time. Implement one tip at a time.

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Begin now and you’ll notice mind-blowing results in your workplace within a short period!

More Management Leadership Skills

Featured photo credit: CoWomen via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 9, 2021

10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

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10 Best Productivity Planners To Get More Done in 2021

Productivity planners and journals are tools of a trade. There’s an art to productivity. Just like art is very personal to the artist, productivity is very personal to the person. What works for you may not work for me. This is an important distinction if you really want get more done in less time.

Too many of us dabble in productivity hacks only to move on to the next tool or trend when it didn’t workout for us, missing the lesson of what worked and didn’t work about that tool or trend.

We put the tool on a pedestal and miss the art. It’s worshipping the paint brush rather than the process and act of painting. We miss the art of our own productivity when the tool overshadows the treasure.

As an artist, you have many brushes to choose from. You’re looking for a brush that feels best in your hand. You want a brush that doesn’t distract you from your art but partners with you to create the many things you see in your mind to create. Finding a brush like this may take some experimenting, but when you understand that the role of the brush is to bring life to your vision, it’s easier to find the right brush.

Planners are the same way. You want a productivity journal that supports you in the creation of your vision, not one that bogs you down or steals your energy.

Let’s dive into the 10 best productivity planners and journals to help you get more done in less time.

1. The One Thing Planner

The NY Times best selling book, The One Thing, just released their new planner. If you loved this book, you’ll love this planner.

As the founder of the world’s largest real estate company Keller Williams Realty, Gary Keller, has mastered the art of focus. The One Thing planner has its roots in industry changing productivity. If you’re out to put a dent in the universe, this may be the planner for you.

Get the planner here!

2. The Full Life Planner

The Full Life Planner is Lifehacks’ ultimate planning system to get results across all your core life aspects including work, health and relationships. This smart planner is 15 years of Lifehack’s best practices and proven success formulas by top performers.

With the Full Life Planner, you can align your actions to long term milestones every day, week, and month consistently. This will help you to get more done and achieve your goals.

Get the planner here!

3. The Freedom Journal

Creator of one of the most prolific podcasts ever, Entrepreneur on Fire, John Lee Dumas released his productivity journal in 2016. This hard-cover journal focuses on accomplishing SMART goals in 100 days.

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From their site:

“The Freedom Journal is an accountability partner that won’t let you fail. John Lee Dumas has interviewed over 2000 successful Entrepreneurs and has created a unique step-by-step process that will guide you in SETTING and ACCOMPLISHING your #1 goal in 100 days.”

Get the planner here!

4. Full Focus Planner

Michael Hyatt, author of Platform and host of the podcast “This is Your Life”, also has his own planner called the Full Focus Planner.

From the site:

“Built for a 90-day achievement cycle, the Full Focus Planner® gives you a quarter of a year’s content so you aren’t overwhelmed by planning (and tracking) 12 months at a time.”

This productivity planner includes a place for annual goals, a monthly calendar, quarterly planning, the ideal week, daily pages, a place for rituals, weekly preview and quarterly previews. It also comes with a Quickstart lessons to help you master the use of the planner.

Get the planner here!

5. Passion Planner

They call themselves the #pashfam and think of their planner as a “paper life coach”. Their formats include dated, academic and undated in hardbound journals with assorted colors. With over 600,000 users they have a track record for effective planners.

From the site:

“An appointment calendar, goal setting guide, journal, sketchbook, gratitude log & personal and work to-do lists all in one notebook.”

They have a get-one give-one program. For every Passion Planner that is bought they will donate one to a student or someone in need.

They also provide free PDF downloads of their planners. This is a great way to test drive if their planner is right for you.

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Get the planner here!

6. Desire Map Planners

If you’re looking for a more spiritually oriented planner, Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, created the Desire Map Planners. With Daily planners, Weekly planners and Undated planners you can find the right fit for you.

Behind this planner is the Desire Map Planner Program including 3 workbooks that not only support you in using the planners but guide you in your thought process about your life and intentions you’re using the planner to help you fulfill.

Get the planner here!

7. Franklin Covey Planners

The grandfather of all planners, Franklin Covey, has the most options when it comes to layouts, binders, and accessories. With over 30 years in the productivity planner business, they not only provide a ton of planner layouts, they also have been teaching productivity and planning from the beginning.

From the site:

“Achieve what matters most with innovative, high quality planners and binders tailored to your personal style. Our paper planning system guides you to identify values, create successful habits, and track and achieve your goals.”

Get the planner here!

8. Productivity Planner

From the makers of the best selling journal backed by Tim Ferriss, “The Five Minute Journal”, comes the Productivity Planner.

Combining the Ivy Lee method which made Charles Schwab millions with the Pomodoro Technique to stay focused in the moment, the Productivity Planner is both intelligent and effective.

It allows for six months of planning, 5-day daily pages, weekly planning and weekly review, a prioritized task list, Pomodoro time tracking, and extra space for notes.

From the site:

“Do you often find yourself busy, while more important tasks get procrastinated on? The Productivity Planner helps you prioritize and accomplish the vital few tasks that make your day satisfying. Quality over quantity. Combined with the Pomodoro Technique to help you avoid distractions, the Productivity Planner assists you to get better work done in less time.”

Get the planner here!

9. Self Journal

Endorsed by Daymond John of Shark Tank, the Self Journal takes a 13 week approach and combines Monthly, Weekly and Daily planning to help you stay focused on the things that really matter.

Self Journal includes additional tools to help you produce with their Weekly Action Pad, Project Action Pad, the Sidekick pocket journal to capture your ideas on the go and their SmartMarks bookmarks that act as a notepad while you’re reading.

Get the planner here!

10. Google Calendar

You may already use Google Calendar for appointments, but with a couple tweaks you can use it as a productivity planner.

Productivity assumes we have time to do the work we intend to do. So blocking time on your Google Calendar and designating it as “busy” will prevent others from filling up those spaces on your calendar. Actually using those blocks of time as you intended is up to you.

If you use a booking tool like Schedule Once or Calendly, you can integrate it with your Google Calendar. For maximum productivity and rhythm, I recommend creating a consistent “available” block of time each day for these kinds of appointments.

Google Calendar is free, web based and to the point. If you’re a bottom line person and easily hold your priorities in your head, this may be a good solution for you.

Get the planner here!

Bonus Advice: Integrate the 4 Building Blocks of Productivity

Just as important to productivity planners as the tool are the principles that we create inside of. There are 4 building blocks of productivity, that when embraced, accelerate your energy and results.

The four building blocks of productivity are desire, strategy, focus and rhythm. When you get these right, having a productivity planner or journal provides the structure to keep you on track.

Block #1: Desire

Somehow in the pursuit of all our goals, we accumulate ideas and To-Do’s we’re not actually passionate about and don’t really want to pursue. They sneak their way in and steal our focus from the things that really matter.

Underneath powerful productivity is desire. Not many little desires, but the overarching mother of desires. The desire you feel in your gut, the desire that comes from your soul, not your logic, is what you need to tap into if you want to level up your productivity.

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A productivity planner is just a distraction if you’re not clear on what it’s all for. With desire, however, your productivity planner provides the guide rails to accomplish your intentions.

Block #2: Strategy

Once you’re clear on your overarching desire, you need to organize your steps to get there. Let’s call this “strategy”. Strategy is like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. You must first turn over all the pieces to see patterns, colors, connections and find borders.

In business and life, we often start trying to put our “puzzle” together without turning over all the pieces. We put many items on our To-Do lists and clog our planners with things that aren’t important to the bigger picture of our puzzle.

Strategy is about taking the time to brain dump all the things in your head related to your goal and then looking for patterns and priorities. As you turn over these puzzle pieces, you’ll begin to see the more important tasks that take care of the less important tasks or make the less important tasks irrelevant.

In the best selling book, The One Thing, the focusing question they teach is:

“What’s the One thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else is easier or unnecessary?”

This is the heart of strategy and organizing what hits your planner and what doesn’t.

Block #3: Focus

With your priorities identified, now you can focus on the One Thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary. This is where your productivity planners and journals help you hold the line.

Because you’ve already turned over the puzzle pieces, you aren’t distracted by new shiny objects. If new ideas come along, and they will, you will better see how and where they fit in the big picture of your desire and strategy, allowing you to go back and focus on your One Thing.

Block #4: Rhythm

The final building block of productivity is rhythm. There is a rhythm in life and work that works best for you. When you find this rhythm, time stands still, productivity is easy and your experience of work is joyful.

Some call this flow. As you hone your self-awareness about your ideal rhythm you will find yourself riding flow more often and owning your productivity.

Without these four building blocks of productivity, you’re like a painter with a paintbrush and no idea how to use it to create what’s in your heart to create. But harness these four building blocks and find yourself getting more done in less time.

The Bottom Line

Your life is your art. Everyday you have a chance to create something amazing. By understanding and using the four building blocks of productivity, you will set yourself up for success no matter which planner, or “paintbrush”, you choose to use.

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As you experiment with different planners you will narrow which one is best for you and accelerate your path to putting a dent in the universe.

More Tools to Boost Your Productivity

Featured photo credit: Anete Lūsiņa via unsplash.com

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