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Leading Is Not Managing

You'll be more effective when you don't confuse the two

· Executive Nature

Are you a manager or a leader?

A manager is someone who is charged with optimizing efficiencies for a proven path. In other words, they are working to do better today, what was done yesterday. Key tools and measures for tracking management are productivity, efficiency, systems, etc. Management growth is measured in increments and percentages.

A leader is someone who is building tomorrow something that has never been done before. Leaders require vision, creativity, innovation. Leading is rarely efficient. It is measured in opportunity, synergy and possibility. Leadership growth, when it lands, is exponential.

**Leaders are forging a path. Managers are paving the path.

**Leaders have a fuzzy vision. Managers have a well-defined target.

**Leaders must inspire. Managers require accountability.

**Leaders collaborate to create. Managers collaborate to deliver.

The challenging part for most people is that they approach leading as if they were managing. And that confusion is like driving with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake – you won’t go very fast, and you’ll burn out the vehicle.

Leadership is a practice. It requires mastery in “soft” skills. Soft because they are poorly measured (not because they are easy). There is a science and an art to leading better.

If you want to practice leading together, let’s connect at

Michael is Founder of Symbeosis. He is a leadership and entrepreneurship coach, natural scientist, author and speaker who is passionate about helping people become great leaders.