Leading and Managing…. Have you ever thought about how they’re related? Are they alike or different?
The definition of to manage is “to be in charge of, administer run.” The definition of lead, on the other hand, is defined as “to be in charge or command of.” odd right? On the surface, the two could be synonyms. But for anyone who’s ever managed and/or led and for those who’ve been led or managed by others, there are contrasting differences between the two.
The relevant questions, especially for business owners, are: What is the purpose of understanding the differences between leading and managing? Should you be leading or managing or some combination of both? Is it most important to focus on the differences?
A lot has been said about leading and managing, and there used to be an inclination to place a greater value on leaders, who are bold and electrifying, versus managers, who are more humdrum and focus on everyday details. That notion has lost it’s color some as we embrace more fluid roles and a much larger range of what constitutes attractive traits, skill and excellence.
If your goal is to be a great manager and leader, there are a few things you can do to achieve it.
First, take the time to inspire and motivate your employees. Get them pepped up not only about what they do each day, but also about the organization’s greater goal and its greater mission. Help them envision what it is you’re after so they’re more prepared for going after the same thing.
Second, take an interest in each position that someone in your organization fills. While you don’t have to become the expert in each role, even having a basic knowledge of what your staff does each day can make you a better manager and leader. It makes it easier for you to grasp what’s working in your company and which areas need more improvement.
Taking these types of steps to improve your company may be hard, but only after you change your manager versus leader mindset. Rather, your goal should be to combine them in a way which enables you to handle various aspects of your business, from the big to the small, transforming you into a manager and leader as the end result.
This includes paying attention to the staff you employ and the procedures you create. It means knowing definitively how your business works, from the very basic things you do to the most complex. No, you don’t have to know them like an expert, but the more you know about them overall, the better decisions you’ll make as a manager and leader.
It is then that you will become a manager and a leader—no “versus” needed.