Leadership vs Management

Leadership vs Management

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During my recent series of my L5 Institute, the question kept coming up about the differences between Leadership and Management.  “Can a Manager be a Leader?”  Can a Leader be a Manager?” they kept asking.

My response is this…A Manager can definitely be a good Leader as well – but it’s unlikely.  A Leader can certainly be a good Manager too – but it’s unlikely.

Why?  Because Managing is about the DOING and Leading is about the BEING.

The two involve very different skill sets, responsibilities and focuses.  It’s always possible that one could be both.  It’s merely unlikely.

While a Manager is focusing on all the tasks, resources, timelines and outcomes that must be produced, they rely on the Leader to continue motivating, inspiring, directing and visioning for the business.

Likewise, a Leader is focused so much on being a Leader, they tend not to pay as close attention to the doing of a Manager.  As small business owners, it’s often to wear both hats – and I find my clients often struggle with this in the beginning, heck even in the middle of their business growth.

Leaders Focus on:
a) Vision
b) Challenges
c) Long Term Strategies
d) Opportunities

Managers Focus on:
a) Facts
b) Problems
c) Short Term Tactics
d) Risk Reduction

It’s a delicate balance when you’re the one holding both batons.  My advice is always, be sure which hat you’re wearing when you’re dealing with your employees, clients and vendors. Otherwise, you’ll confuse them and reduce their productivity.  If you’re constantly leading with no managing, nothing gets complete.  If you’re always managing them with no leading, they turn to resignation and there is no passion to keep going forward.

If you work inside a larger company and you think you’re leading your teams, take a closer look.  You may be only managing them, thus creating that same resignation and lack of passion.  Yes, things get checked off the list, but perhaps at a snail’s pace or perhaps without efficiency or worse yet, without any enthusiasm and without excellence.  You’re much more likely to get extraordinary results – higher productivity, greater engagement and more efficiency – when you spend more of your time leading your team.


Learn more about strengthening your leadership abilities or that of your team through L5 Institute at www.L5Institute.com

One Comment

  • Hi Aprille, a wonderful article and reminder about the differences between being a manager and leader and how to ensure we are being at our best when stepping into each of those roles. Thanks!

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