When it comes to making decisions in life, we can look at it from two different perspectives that are often- they both fit under the category of making decisions, and yet they’re very different.
And this is sometimes brought up in the distinction between leadership and management.
What is the difference? What is a leader versus a manager? And it’s often described as a leader is setting the vision.
Setting a vision, setting a direction.
What is the objective? The leader decides where are we going, what is the point.
And that’s the highest level of decision.
The manager is about how do we get there.
How do we do it? How do we best do the thing that is assigned, that is determined to be the right way to go? How do we actually achieve that goal? So they’re really two different ways of making a decision, and I think it can be useful to keep them separate, keep it clear which one we’re thinking about.
Because clearly, we can see the problem of only going into one, of only letting one of these two things be in charge.
What’s it like when we have the leader in charge but no manager? Then this idea of well, we have a vision.
It’s all about the vision.
We have a place we want to go, we have someone that we want to be, we want to achieve something, we have a vision, but we have no idea how to get there.
We can’t manage the day-to-day.
We have the idea that we want to achieve this thing, but we can’t even maintain control over ourselves.
This is you see often the case of sort of the visionary, the wild visionary, who has incredible ideas and yet is you know barely able to take care of himself, possibly with lots of addictions, distractions, and just can’t seem to get things done.
Maybe just lacks any kind of practical expertise, so it’s all about unrealistic visions.
And so that by itself is not enough to get things done.
But then what’s it like when you have a manager and not a leader? This is when you are so good at getting things done.
You have great efficiency.
You are in control of yourself, very disciplined.
You have a lot of practical tactics that are very useful for getting things done.
You’re able to get a good workload done every day.
You’re really focused and directed, very organized, everything is just so nicely arranged, and you’re in such good performance.
But then you look at what are you actually doing? What if you’re actually incredibly well managed, but you’re doing something that is not even good, it’s not even useful? How sad is that, to be so good and efficient and organized and productive at doing something that doesn’t actually help anybody? Going in the wrong direction, but going very well? Well, that is what it’s like to be a manager without being a leader.
And this seems to be an easy trap to fall into in the world of self-development, where it’s all about becoming efficient, disciplined, hustling, and you sometimes have to ask yourself well, what are you really doing? What is the point? And that’s when you get into the world of the the visionary leader, who has all these grand ideas and sees the big picture, but then maybe has no idea how to practically get it done.
Getting lost in that, that’s like being that person with the big dreams who never take steps towards them because there’s no practical management of the practical level, no self-control.
So we all have both of these characters within us.
All of us have some ability to be leaders, to be managers.
Maybe some of us are more skilled at one or the other, and maybe if we form in teams that we can each contribute what we’re best at, but I think in some ways we all have to be both.
We need to make sure that we have some idea of what we’re working towards.
Otherwise, all the efficient organized work achieves nothing.
And we also have to have the ability to do the simple, down-to-earth, day-to-day management of operations, so that we actually have a chance to put what we envision into practice, into reality.
So which of these two sides of the coin do you need to work on? Which one is more natural to you? Which one requires more work? I think that I can sort of bend from one to the other, and it’s important to keep the perspective of the leader while also keeping the practical, focused, down-to-earth groundedness of the manager, but without letting management take over and run a highly efficient machine into nowhere.
So it’s always a balance, I find.
And at the moment, I feel like I’ve been doing too much on the management side, and I’m going a little bit back into the vision side.
But overall it seems like we all have we have to mix all these things.
So I’d be curious to hear what you think of this way of looking at things.
#leadership #management #leadervsmanager