Managing vs. Leading

What’s the difference between the two? Often used interchangeably, these two words mean very¬†different things. We often hear about great leaders but not great managers. What’s the deal?

Managers, well, manage. Leaders lead.

Clear as mud?

Here are a couple quotes that might help clarify:

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

-Warren Bennis and Peter Drucker

“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success. Leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.”

-Stephen R. Covey

These are helpful, but here’s my rule of thumb:

Manage things, lead people.

Specifically, manage things like meeting agendas, requirement documents, and calendars.

Lead things that are people-centric like vision, meeting facilitation, decisions, delegation, engagement.

Leaders don’t get stuff done without managers. Execution and good sound management are essential to seeing a vision become reality. Really great things get done by both.