What is the Difference Between Leaders and Managers?
“Leading people vs Managing work. Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.” (Nayer, Vineet. “Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders.” HBR.org. August 2, 2013.)
Many ministries and organizations forget that there is a difference between leaders and managers. I have served on several boards through the years; I remember one particular board that was FULL of managers. The meetings seemed to drag on for hours as the board members managed the organization’s money, assets, and personnel. I was not too fond of those meetings, often leaving them frustrated that we didn’t accomplish anything that mattered. On the outside of the meeting, within the organization, I witnessed an organization that slowly died as key people left and moved on.
“Leaders must decide on what matters in life before they can live a life that matters.” (Kouzes and Posner. Page 90)
I served on another board that included both managers and leaders. That board worked well together; yes, there were some long and heated meetings. Yet, when I stepped out of the meeting and observed the organization, I could see a steady growth pattern.
Healthy Organizations Grow.
Moreover, healthy organizations grow because the leaders and the managers know their roles.
The leaders inspire and work with the organization to cast a vision of “what could be.” On the other hand, managers create systems and processes that move the organization to accomplish the vision.
Which are you?
Do you tend to see ahead, to see the “what could be?”
Do you tend to see the need for systems and organizations to solve a current problem?
Define who you are and embrace it (manager or leader). Partner with your opposite, so you leverage your strengths.
Clarify your Mission, Vision, and Core Values.
Did You Know
Terry Porter is an executive life coach helping his clients reach their goals? Click here to learn more.
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (2006). A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass Publishing.
Cloud, Dr. Henry (2009). Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps To A Happier, Healthier You. Zondervan Publishing.
Cloud, Dr. Henry (2006, January). Integrity, The Courage To Face The Demands Of Reality. Harper-Collins Publishing.