A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. —Lao Tzu
Management and Leadership are not the same thing. We manage things which can include a “team” of people. Management is the day-to-day running of…well, everything…of life. We all manage our time and events and our jobs, families, kids, exercise, diet, sleep, weight, friendships…and the list doesn’t ever seem to end.
It takes a lot of time and effort to be good at managing anything and some people are better at it than others. Good management skills can be learned.
Leading vs Managing
Leadership, on the other hand, is more a feeling or a mindset then it is something that we do. Leadership can also be learned and is an ever evolving process. There are days when I feel that I am a good leader and there are days when I know all I put out there was bad examples of what NOT to do. Leading, in my opinion, is more about being our true selves and being open to the process of listening, teaching and encouraging others around us.
If you review the difference between management and leadership in the picture above it is clear that leadership is proactive while management is reactive.
- Planing with a creative vision instead of running around putting out fires.
- Choosing a direction and then steering towards the goal instead of treading water for dear life.
- Spending time with an inspired team instead of bossing everyone around.
Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. —Jack Welch
The next time you are spending time with a group of people; work, family, volunteer organization, etc. ask yourself if you are leading or managing. This is a really important question to ask if you aren’t getting the results you want.
Want to learn more about being a great leader?