Are You Leading or Managing?

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People manage a horse’s behavior by putting a bit in their mouth.  Without the bit, the horse can become difficult to control.  Have you ever seen Lorenzo the Flying Horseman?  He has established a solid foundation of trust and leadership with his horses and can move them with a slight gesture.

Do you tell or compel?

Managers tell people what tasks to complete.  Employees obey managers because the manager possesses institutional power, and the employee does not want to lose their job.  Leaders compel people to do whatever it takes to get the desired results.  People are eager to follow a leader because the leader possesses influence.  Employees work vigorously for a leader and begrudgingly for a manager.  A manager must force employees to work overtime or complete menial tasks, while a leader has employees lining up to help.  Bottom line:  Managers tell; leaders compel.

Managers tell; leaders compel. Click To Tweet

Are your employees stagnant or growing?

Managers are task masters and do not want their employees to advance on to bigger things.  The most talented individuals feel stifled and unfulfilled.  Leaders recognize talent and stoke the fire inside of these high potential people.  They stretch employees, fostering growth and advancement.  A manager feels threatened when an employee tries to advance beyond their job description.  The leader encourages growth and understands that a loyal follower will work harder and do whatever it takes to reach the leader’s goal.

Do you handle all of your employees the same?

Managers are focused on enforcing rules like a referee.  Most high performers desire leadership and suffocate under management.  Leaders recognize that some employees need to be managed, while others perform better under leadership.  Managers have difficulty differentiating between their employees, so the highest performers jump ship to find leadership elsewhere.

The most successful managers are also leaders.  A leader may or may not have  a title.  They may or may not have institutional authority.  However, a leader possesses more influence in an organization than a manager.  They can alter the culture of a company, boost morale, and increase productivity.  Managers control behaviors like a bit in a horse’s mouth, but a leader puts fire in someone’s veins and wind in their sales.

 

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