DOVC – #104 – How to Drive Your Team Forward Using the Leadership vs Management Mindset

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How to Drive Your Team Forward Using the Leadership vs Management Mindset

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

At first glance, the roles seem similar, but they require very distinct mindsets and abilities.

In this article, I’ll share my views on where management and leadership diverge, and why I believe leading is more about providing vision and inspiration while managing focuses on execution and operations.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

  • Why management and leadership get conflated but are distinct
  • My take on management as an operational, administrative role
  • How I define leadership as setting vision and driving culture
  • Why both are crucial – you can’t have one without the other
  • How management revolves around organization and efficiency
  • Why leadership is about inspiration, empowerment, and direction
  • How I aim to lead by example and shared values vs top-down control
  • Why I prefer influencing by showing vs telling people what to do
  • How to know which role aligns best with your mindset and skills

Why Management and Leadership Get Conflated But Are Distinct

In business, management, and leadership often get presented as nearly identical.

But in reality, they require different mindsets and abilities.

Management is focused on the operational side – organization, accuracy, efficiency, and delivering consistent results day-to-day.

Leadership provides vision and direction – communicating a purpose and values, empowering people, and setting the culture.

Both are vital, but strong managers don’t necessarily make great leaders.

I see management as more administrative while leadership is aspirational.

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My Take on Management: An Operational, Administrative Role

In my view, management is fundamentally about organization.

Making sure the trains run on time.

Ensuring efficient operations and procedures.

Tracking key metrics and progress.

It’s detail-oriented and heavily focused on flawless execution according to established standards.

I’ve found I don’t excel at the strictly administrative aspects of management.

How I Define Leadership: Vision, Culture, Empowerment

To me, leadership means communicating an inspiring vision that gives people purpose.

It’s about empowering teams by removing obstacles and enabling them to perform at their best.

Leadership establishes principles and values that shape organizational culture.

It’s concerned with the emotional, human side of progress vs just metrics.

Leaders motivate by showing vs telling.

They lead by example and shared ideals – not commanding from the top.

This inspires me far more than control-focused management.

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Both Are Crucial – You Can’t Have One Without the Other

Make no mistake, both leadership and management are essential.

An organization with great leadership but little management descends into chaos.

Conversely, efficient management without empathetic leadership leads to disengaged teams going through the motions.

The yin and yang balance is key.

However, individuals tend to gravitate towards either inspirational leadership or structured management based on their capabilities and motivations.

Like me, you may find you naturally excel at one more than the other.

Management Revolves Around Organization, Efficiency

Exceptional managers develop systems ensuring accuracy and efficiency.

They’re highly organized, love devising procedures, and have a laser focus on flawless execution.

But strictly regimented management can stifle innovation and morale.

That’s why it must be counterbalanced by exploratory visionary leadership.

While strong management is invaluable, for me the human relational skills of motivational leadership come far more naturally.

Leadership Is About Inspiration, Empowerment and Direction

Transformative leaders connect people’s work to a larger purpose.

They set values that shape culture versus just enforcing rigid rules.

Through trust and empowerment, they enable teams to take ownership of goals.

Rather than micromanaging execution, leaders focus on removing barriers to allow talent to thrive.

While both roles are intertwined, fundamentally leadership provides the direction while management handles the details of implementation.

How I Aim to Lead by Example and Shared Values vs Top-Down Control

In my approach to leadership, I aim to lead by example and cultivate shared values versus commanding from the top down.

Providing the right conditions for people to become self-motivated produces far better results than micromanaging their every move.

Emphasizing openness, growth, and purpose allows leaders to take a guidance-oriented role focused on progress.

Why I Prefer Influencing By Showing vs Telling People What To Do

The best leaders exemplify the behaviors and mindset they want to see in others.

Avoiding hypocrisy and inspiring by example comes naturally to me.

Rather than closely monitoring tasks, I believe in giving ownership and trusting people’s capacity to excel when obstacles are removed.

When people feel purpose and autonomy, they achieve greater commitment than any command-driven management could produce.

How To Know Which Role Aligns Best With Your Mindset and Skills

Assess your inclinations and abilities to determine if you lean more toward structured management or motivational leadership.

Play to your inherent strengths while ensuring you don’t neglect developing skills in your complementary role.

Understanding these core differences allows you to take more purposeful steps to hone the capabilities needed on your team.

Key Takeaways: Drive Your Team Forward Using the Leadership vs Management Mindset

  • Leadership and management are related but distinct roles requiring different skills
  • Leaders provide inspirational vision, direction, and cultural values
  • Managers focus on operational execution, organization, efficiency, and consistency
  • Strong leadership without management causes chaos; efficient management without leadership causes disengagement
  • Leadership is about showing the way through example, trust, and removing obstacles
  • Management is about administrative and organizational process excellence
  • Know whether you lean more towards leadership or management based on your inclinations
  • Play to your strengths but develop complementary skills in your weaker area
  • Leadership provides the direction; management handles the detail-oriented implementation

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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