Management versus Leadership: what’s the difference?

When you think “Manager,” do you also think “Manager = Leader?”  Realistically, someone promoted into a manager role doesn’t automatically become a leader.  As explained in this Forbes article, there are 9 important differences that set leaders apart from managers. One of the differences is that “Leaders are change agents, managers maintain the status quo” and that “Leaders are proud disrupters.” If that last sentence makes you a little nervous, you’re not alone. However, this is a topic that many leadership experts address. You may want to start with Pivot, Disrupt, Transform: How Leaders Beat the Odds and Survive by Marcia Daszko, which outlines three steps to radically improve your business.

Another point the Forbes article makes is that “leaders are in it for the long haul, managers think short-term.” If you have a new business, you may be focused on getting things running and keeping them going. To be intentional, you have to have focus.  Small Acts of Leadership: 12 Intentional Behaviors That Lead to Big Impact by G. Shawn is a 5-hour streaming audiobook that can get you going on the path to success.

Number Six on the Forbes list is “Leaders grow personally, managers rely on existing, proven skills. Leaders know if they aren’t learning something new every day, they aren’t standing still, they’re falling behind.”  This may sound daunting, especially if you work long hours and have family and other non-work obligations.  However, if you consider that reading a newspaper or online article only takes a few minutes, you’re definitely (potentially) learning something new every day.

By the way, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys an infographic, Resourceful Manager has a good one here.

If you would like to read more about transforming from a manager to a leader (or are curious and would just to learn more), we have a list of suggestions. While these definitely aren’t the extent of all of the items we offer here at the Library, these are a good starting point.

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