Managers Versus Leaders


I do some of my best work while flying, and on my recent trip to California I came across two articles on the concept of managers versus leaders.

I love this article in The Harvard Business Review, where the author discusses three differences between managers and leaders. The one that really stuck out was leading people versus managing work.

When I speak on leadership, this is something I always touch on. Being a leader is about a lot more than simply asking people to do something and making sure they do it. Being a leader is about understanding the big picture, which includes the little things.

For instance, on my own team, some of my team members went above and beyond to help me with research when it came to building out my podcast. Our energy around this task was electric because as a team we all knew exactly what was happening in the process.

It wasn’t me, “the leader,” calling all the shots and giving out tasks. It was a team effort. It was taking each other’s suggestions, listening, making the team members a part of the journey, inspiring them to learn and create for their own businesses and other clients as we learned.

If you lead a team of people in a corporation, are you providing them the tools they need to advance in their professional life or only the tasks they need to complete?

Another article in Forbes again explored the differences in a manager versus a leader. This author explored the fact that some people are great managers and horrible leaders and vice versa. She went on to discuss there are different competencies for each role and that should be considered in the hiring process.

It seems like it all goes together, right? Someone in a management role has to be good at leading people or they wouldn't have made it there. It’s just not the case.

We’ve all had a manager in our lives that didn’t inspire us, didn’t make us feel supported or valued. And if we’re lucky, we’ve also had that manager who was also a leader. That person that gave us the confidence to propel our careers forward and believe in our abilities.

I strive to be that person for my team and I encourage you to do the same. We all have a lot to do, things needs to get done. But if the office atmosphere, the team morale and the big picture are always top of mind, the work not only gets done, it gets done with passion, efficiency and joy.

Ivy Slater