Leadership vs. Management

Leadership and management are two very different things. Leadership “pulls” people. Management “pushes” people.

Everyone knows traditional management.  Check on the team to make sure they are working.  Clock breaks and punch out time.  If people don’t comply, there are consequences.  In bad situations, it can be exhausting and draining for both the person being managed and the person managing.  This system was derived from the fact that most people are twice as motivated by fear as by gain.  The issue is that it burns people out and makes them less engaged as a whole, requiring more management to keep them efficient.

Leadership is different.  Leadership is about creating the common vision and pictures that inspire your team. It assumes the people around you want to do well and through your created vision are inspired to achieve that end though self-management. In this scenario, people are energized working for a goal instead of being drained.

If you are in a leadership role and find a large portion of your time is spent “managing,” sit back and try to think about how you can move towards leading.  What can you do to make the team more engaged?  Do they know the purpose of the unit and why it helps the company, the client and society?  Are they fired up and engaged in the next big improvement you can all make together to improve the unit?  Done right, the team is pulling because they are so excited.  That is the ultimate objective of a leader.