Leaders and managers have always coexisted. Leadership is an art, blending skills of both leadership and management in a delicate dance to get things done through people or for people in the most effective way possible. Leaders must manage. Managers must lead.
While leadership and management skill sets coexist in various circumstances, and while both "positions" are equally important, distinctions also exist between the two. The first distinction I'd like to discuss today is the leader's role of teacher.
Leaders teach people how to think. Managers tell people what to do.
Long gone is the industrial society of old where skilled and not-so-skilled laborers comprised the majority of the workforce. Teaching was different back then when managers were just called managers and the term "leadership" wasn't the hot topic of the day. Change moved at a slower pace.
Technology and automation changed the pace of our world forever in the middle of the 20th century. Because everyone is caught in the race of playing catch-up with too much to do and to little time to get it done, skilled minds are worth more than skilled hands. Leaders must teach people how to think to save time in the long run.
Leaders who can't teach people how to think will be forever challenged with how long to "hand hold" their staffs. How effective of a teacher are you and what could you do to improve? Do you teach or tell? What one area under your influence could benefit by your becoming a teaching leader?
Finally, as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Share your success or questions and join in the discussion by adding your thoughts to the comments below.