Managing & Leading: What are the Differences?

I often get confused between Managing and Leading – after all aren’t they one and the same?

I soon discovered that managing is squeezing efficiency out of the system.  It is largely about productivity – how can I get more units of output per labor hour.  How do you think individuals behave when they are managing (controlling) others?  What about those individuals being managed (controlled)?

Over the years – I am just as guilty as the next person – telling others what to do, how they can do it faster, quicker and more efficiently becomes the norm when managing.

Place yourself in others’ shoes – how would you feel if you are constantly being told what to do and how to do it?  If you are anything like me, not happy!  I feel like my mom is micromanaging me – and she did her fair share of micromanaging me!

On the other hand, leadership is about organizations becoming more effective.  More effective can have different meanings for different individuals.  Making better decisions is at the top of the heap.  Fostering a culture of inclusivity and collaboration can be next in importance.  Leaders have many tools at their disposal to help create an ideal environment to foster overall organizational effectiveness.

Enter the notion of transactional leadership vs. transformational leadership – what do you suppose the difference is?

I used to work for a very well-known company and part of our compensation plan was to have large year end bonuses. That, of course, is a form of transactional leadership – a reward and punishment system.  Employers incentivize others by holding a financial carrot over their head – using this technique to inspire employees to achieve and even exceed their goals.

On the other hand, transformational leadership was first defined as “leaders and followers make each other advance to a higher level of moral motivation.” by Presidential biographer, James MacGregor Burns.  Noted deceased academic leadership expert, Bernard Bass, extended the work of Burns by linking the impact on followers through garnering trust, respect and admiration of them.

Today we talk about creating a culture that anchors in trust, respect and helping others learn and grow.

Are you devoting enough time to foster a culture of inclusion and employee development and growth?

Let me know what you think and your obstacles to creating this environment.

Simply email me to pholberton@holberton.com and put into the subject heading Culture of Respect.  Let’s begin a dialogue.

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