Leader vs. Manager

There is a big difference between a leader and a manager. When I stepped into my new role I noticed my business card says, “Manager”. I also noticed that my direct supervisor almost never uses the word. She refers to my peers and me individually as “leaders” and collectively as “the leadership team”.

In our leadership meetings recently she has been challenging us to discuss leadership activities that will help our teams achieve our goals and accomplish our mission. The first few conversations were hilarious. We each kept bringing up management activities: schedules, checks and balances, various performance tracking logs, etc. Now that we have the hang of it our leadership activity conversations center on: training, coaching, conversation and review of progress, etc. This process and discussion has been calling us all to step up our game. We have an expectation to rise to. The bar has been raised in a very positive way.

Leadership is about growth, progress, guidance, and momentum.

I believe everyone has a leadership role in at least some aspect of life, even if it is the basic of self-leadership (which by the way, I find to be harder than leading others…but that’s a topic for another day). I encourage you to take a minute and scan your life: the professional and the personal.

  • Are you leading or managing?
  • Is there an area of your life you are managing that you need to rise up and lead?
  • How are you going to do it?

Potential resources: Ron Edmondson and Michael Hyatt put out some great stuff regarding leadership on a consistent basis. (Click on their names for more.)

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