I will never forget when I started my first leadership position. I was 24 with high hopes for what it would mean to be a leader – until I failed miserably at leadership.
What happened? Why did I fail? Looking back on it, I was doing everything I learned about managing and doing nothing related to leadership. We got things done but at the cost of morale and people’s desire to punch me in the throat.
Some got bored with what they were doing, while others burned out in their roles and few who were happy. At the time, I didn’t think it mattered. Now I know those are the ONLY things that matter as a leader – the people.
Leadership and management are interchangeably used in articles and training. Many of these articles depict the differences between leadership and management as one is the savior and the other is the devil.
However, there is a difference between management and leadership, and it is functional. Both functions are critical to a project, team, and organization. You’ll soon understand why.
You must first understand these differences before you can understand when to lead vs when to manage.