Managing vs Leading

At today’s directors’ meeting, we discussed the differences between managing and leading. We were inspired by this quote from Warren Bennis:

“Leaders are people who do the right things. Managers are people who do things right. We are underled and overmanaged.”

Leaders direct, align, motivate, strategize, engage, coach, empower, communicate, and reward. Managers plan, organize, coordinate, control, monitor, allocate, communicate, and reward.

Here are two signs that you may be managing more than leading:

  1. you focus on the immediate at the expense of the important
  2. you think “working harder” is an actual strategy

Here are antidotes to the above:

  1. understand that focusing on the important will mean that some of your “immediate” problems will not be resolved “immediately.” this may make some customers unhappy. this is okay. this is reality.

  2. stop the long hours. stop the 24/7 communications unless there’s a real emergency. face it, your “connectedness” is just making more work for everyone else. Unplug! We already spend too much time “working” and not enough time having fun. Be part of the solution.

3 Responses to “Managing vs Leading”

  1. kc said:

    May 20, 08 at 7:33 am

    my old man can’t get his head around my current employer’s “flexible hours”. in his day people worked as much as they could and killed themselves in the process. why is it more admirable to work more than everybody else? talk amongst yourselves…

  2. admin said:

    May 20, 08 at 4:39 pm

    Yes, the time’s are a’changin. I think the idea of working less is scary; like how people don’t understand why open source software makes money. It’s the difference between the Industrial Revolution and and the Information Age. The former is focused on manufacturing a product, something you can see, and the latter is focused on some quasi-nebulous stuff that no one really gets. So this freaks people out. Me, I just want some time on the Holodeck.

  3. kc said:

    May 21, 08 at 7:08 am

    hee hee…you said holodeck.

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