Management vs. Leadership

Peter: And here’s something else Bob. I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob: I beg your pardon?
Peter: Eight bosses.
Bob: Eight?
Peter: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

This classic exchange from the movie Office Space describes the epitome of management. Or more accurately micro-management. Personally, I’ve never been a fan of management. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been blessed throughout my career for working for some really great bosses. The one thing that make them great bosses is they aren’t managers – they are leaders.

What’s the difference between a manager and a leader?

  • Managers are coordinators. Leaders are teachers.
  • Managers put their trust in themselves. Leaders put their trust in others.
  • Managers care about results. Leaders care about you.
  • Managers need to know what you’re doing. Leaders trust you to do what needs to be done.
  • Managers enforce policy & procedure. Leaders teach policy & procedure and get out of the way.
  • Managers are accountable to their boss, not you. Leaders are accountable to their boss AND you.
  • Managers want control. Leaders hand over control to others.
  • Managers tell you what they want. Leaders inspire you to give what’s needed.

Leaders don’t care if the TPS report comes with a cover. They probably don’t even care what the TPS report contains. They trust their people to get it done right.

One Response to “Management vs. Leadership”

  1. Ruthann Essig says:

    I am fortunate to have worked for great leaders and a leader is better than a manager any day.

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