These are just some random thoughts I have had lately as I have assessed the things I am doing as a leader for the Utah Chapter of the American Marketing Association. I am self evaluating against things I have learned from experience, my time as a marketing manager at FranklinCovey (company perk was attending a ton of awesome leadership courses) and reflections of my favorite bosses.
Leadership is a role, management is a title. Leaders don’t wait for a promotion, people to lead, or the opportunity to present itself. True leaders do not need titles, ranks or big offices. These are people who see a need and take ownership filling that need. Managers are assigned a project or team and take responsibility for seeing a goal through to the end.
Managers control, leaders empower. In order to empower someone you need to trust them. Sometimes this trust is blind. But leaders are willing to take that risk, because the risk of not trusting is far greater and typically yields status quo results.
Leaders clear and make paths, managers keep people and projects on them. Leaders must have a vision for the future. They must see what others don’t see. This does not mean they are extraordinarily more gifted than others, but they dare to dream of what can be, and figure out how to make it happen.
Leaders are more concerned with people. Managers are more concerned with outcomes. This is often reflected in language, public conversations, how tasks are assigned or delegated. Leaders look for and express the potential of those under their stewardship.
Leaders listen first, managers listen last. A good leader is more concerned with learning and gathering all the best information so that the long run is optimized. Most managers are are more concerned with short-term efficiencies.
A leaders reward is satisfaction. A managers reward is recognition. Rarely do leaders care if they are recognized for their efforts, and often go to great lengths to make sure the right people get the credit. Leaders see the front-line contributors as keys to success.
In summary – leadership is a mindset. It’s way of looking at life. Management is a responsibility, duty, and obligation. Both roles are vital. But if great managers can be great leaders at the same time – amazing things can be achieved.
I am curious, what are some of the attributes you’ve observed in great leaders or great managers?