Leadership Versus Management

Leadership Versus Management. I am the father of two wonderful boys. One entering his senior year of college and the other his senior year in high school. I realize that as my young men have matured, my parenting style has evolved.

Young kids need more supervision, more rules, more protection from themselves. With infants and toddlers, parents use gates to keep them from tumbling down stairs.The younger the child the more hard and fast rules we diligently enforce.

As children grow, reach the age of reasoning and reckoning, many rules turn to guidelines, the training wheels come off.  As children turn into young adults there’s a dramatic shift in parental face-time and rules become much harder to enforce as our children spend less time under our parental thumbs.

By the time our kids are driving, our ability to ensure their safety and manage the risks of avoiding life-threatening events is close to impossible. We must instill a value system, a moral compass that allows them to be self-guided. We must shift from managers to leaders. To a system that guides them when we can no longer fence them in by a play-pen.

At work, are you a Manager or are you a Leader. Where do you fall on the Leadership Versus Management scale? Do you treat your people like children or do you empower their independent action?  Are your employees motivated by fear…. by carrots and sticks?  Or do they respect you? Are you modeling the behavior you expect or dictating it? Do they perform because they are afraid of losing their job or because they want your approval?  As a business owner can you walk away from your business for 2 months and come back to a thriving organization?

Leadership versus Management. If you have the right team, inspiration results in higher performance than fear. If you have the wrong team, then Management is just a delaying tactic to failure.

Strong leadership creates a culture of sustainable high performance.  Great leadership requires trust, vision, and personal strength. Great leadership creates scalable teams.

Great Management is difficult, exhausting, time-consuming work. A managed organization requires more work and more supervision than a leadership driven company to build to scale.

Great leaders are great leaders first and good or OK managers second.  Great companies are led by great leaders.

Check out this list and see which column personifies your style:

Style Management Leadership
Power Authority Inspiration
People Employees Team
Manage Tasks Goals
Style Rigid Flexible
Motivational Force Head Heart
Guiding Principle Being Right Being Fair
Sets Rules Guidelines
Control Contained Empowered
Energy Control Passion
Decision Making Dictates Facilitates
Persuasion Tells Sells
Risk Minimized Encouraged
Success Source Me Team
Failure Source Them Me
Roadmap Plans Vision





Great Leaders trump Great Managers.  As you read the words above, how would you characterize your style?

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