Managing vs. Leading: The Difference That Can Change Your Company
Managing vs. Leading: The Difference That Can Change Your Company

Managing vs. Leading: The Difference That Can Change Your Company

Last updated: August 7, 2020

For many companies, leadership and management does not come hand in hand. They are separated like oil and water, and from what I’ve seen, the divide that exists can be detrimental to the way your company runs.

When your management team has true leadership ability, it transforms everything from employee development, employee engagement, employee loyalty and overall your customer service.

Although all leaders in a sense are managers, not all managers know how to lead… and that’s a problem. Let’s start by breaking down the difference between someone who just manages, to someone who has influence and leads through management.

As a John C. Maxwell fan, in his book, The 5 Levels of Leadership, Maxwell breaks down the difference between a manager and a leader really well. He notes that the very basic form of leadership is leading by position meaning that people follow you only because they have to. This means that you have little to no true influence over the people you manage. What you want to do is develop yourself enough to where you’re as close to the 5th level of leadership as possible, which is where people follow you because of who you are, what you stand for, and the role you’ve had in the development of them/the company. You’ve earned their respect.

What a Manager Does:

  • Managers think short-term.
  • Managers follow what they’re told to do and hardly ever question it.
  • Managers communicate information to employees.
  • Managers serve to execute decisions previously made.

Leaders, then, have a different mindset.

What a Leader Does:

  • Leaders always have their long-term vision in mind.
  • Leaders inspire their team to develop and think innovatively, whereas managers seek to accomplish short- term goals by telling people what to do, how to think and how to act.
  • Leaders equip their teams with the right tools to make their own decisions.

Each member is an integral piece of the puzzle for the bigger picture.  This is important because leaders can then delegate tasks effectively.

Leaders inspire change, inspire trust and inspire individuality. Be that Leader to your team. 

Marlene Cosain

Marlene Cosain

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