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Are You a Manager or a Leader?


Aren't they the same thing? The answer to that question really depends on the perspective of the person giving the answer. The subject is debated from conflicting standpoints on social media forums far and wide across the industry.

Regardless of your perspective and what your business card might say there are certainly unique skills associated with each role. The term "manager" has taken on a meaning of potentially lesser importance in the opinions of some so-called "gurus" but the fact of the matter is that the art of management requires skills essential to any organization just as much as the art of leadership.

I have heard the two terms described as a Leader = Doing the Right Things while a Manager = Doing Things Right. I am totally okay with that generalization but I don't believe the terms to be mutually exclusive. As stated above, ANY successful company needs both.

It is my humble opinion that the smaller the organization the more critical it becomes for the owner to wear BOTH hats in a competent manner. If your team isn't inspired it will be difficult to achieve amazing results but if you don't monitor and adjust the activities of your team it will be almost impossible to consistently hit your goals.

Unfortunately being an outstanding individual contributor prior to a promotion prepares you to be an outstanding manager/leader in much the same way being a child prepares you to be a parent. The two require completely different skill sets.

The moral of the story is that most of us in positions of authority really need to master both manager and leader to be effective in our roles. Constantly seeking to learn, improve, and grow is not only a good idea but essential to the future of our company.

That is my position, but what do you think?

Chuck Terry, CEO/President​​

Chuck Terry, CEO/President

Sandler Training in Denver provides sales training, management and leadership training, and professional development for individuals and organizations. Let us know how we can help your team.