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“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter F. Drucker

Leaders aren’t always managers and managers aren’t always leaders. What really is the difference and how does that affect business today?

CEO and founder of OtterBox, Curt Richardson, wrote in an article for Inc.com that “leaders have a unique ability to rally employees around a vision. Because their belief in the vision is so strong, employees will naturally want to follow them. Leaders also tend to be willing to take risks in pursuit of the vision.”

He then explained that “managers, on the other hand, are more adept at executing the vision in a very systemic way and directing employees on how to do so. They can see all of the intricate moving parts and understand how to make them harmonize. Managers are usually very risk-adverse.”

Managers focus on the bottom line, they track progress against objectives and analyze the data that allows for solid decisions based on facts.  They focus on getting the job done and keeps the process moving. On the other hand, leaders take more risks and they look to the horizon more than the immediate bottom line. They focus on the people and are constantly asking why and challenging the status quo. 

Leadership and management are often part of the same role because there is a continual adjustment of the direction–leadership–and controlling resources to achieve that direction–management.

Just becoming more cognizant of the differences between the two can help us be more effective in our own jobs.  And as always, self-reflection and constant awareness will help us be better leaders in life, not just in the workplace.

 
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