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Leading vs. Managing

 

Image credit: Pixabay

Leading and managing have become so synonymous with each other in our language that an employee might refer to his boss as either. But the two terms are not interchangeable.

RetailerNow offers succinct definitions for leaders and managers: leading serves as the heart, they propose, while managing acts as the brains.

Managers come up with the vision for the company and then establish systems in order to enable their team to reach the goal they have set. They establish measures to determine whether or not their team is staying on track.

Leaders, on the other hand, inspire and motivate the group to work together to achieve the objective. They monitor the progress of the team, urging them on to meet those goals.

So, is a good CEO more of a leader or a manager? According to BFS Capital, he or she should have both skillsets. It’s important for CEOs to be the visionaries for where they want their company to go. At the same time, however, they need to do their part to motivate and inspire their employees so that they are excited to get into their work every day.

This is particularly true in small companies–especially startups.  In larger organizations with larger resources, leadership and managerial roles may sometimes be handled by different individuals.

Inc.com provides a helpful guide that differentiates the tasks performed by managers and leaders so that the people performing these functions will better understand what is expected of them.

A recent Forbes article also provides some examples that help CEOs recognize the difference between the responsibilities of leader and manager in a company. The article focuses on Coca-Cola’s CEO Doug Ivester, who makes a conscious effort to provide direction and guidance to his managers so that they can make decisions over matters under their control.

The article points out that in any organization, there should be a clear understanding between CEOs and their managers with regard to who performs which roles so there won’t be any overlapping. It also stresses the importance of collaboration, pointing out that neither the leader nor the manager will be able to perform his/her job effectively without working closely with the other.

While in any organization, roles should be clearly defined, the CEO still retains the ultimate responsibility to be both a leader and a manager. But what if a CEO is good at only one of these skillsets and not the other?

In ’What Will You Earn Your ‘Oscar’ Doing?’, I talked about the importance of mastering your craft. If one of these aspects–being a leader or a manager–is not natural for a CEO, he should look to develop these skills.  By consistently self-reflecting to see his weaknesses in one or both areas (and, of course, working with a coach) he can take steps towards improvement.

If you’re a CEO, work on your skills as both a leader and a manager, and keep REACHING…

Sandy

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