Currently, I have been trying to hire a Tiny Kahuna for our office in Greece. Over the last few weeks, I have been interviewing several candidates. This morning the following transpired:
Me: “So, Kyros, tell me, what do you think the difference is between a Leader and a Manager”
Kyros: “Errr, a Leaders leads, a manager manages”
Me: “Yes, but what is the difference?”
Kyros: “One manages, the other leads”
Me: “Yes, Yes, I know, but what is the difference between leading and managing?”
Kyros: “I am not good at English”
Needless to say that we are still looking for a tiny Kahuna…
However that got me thinking. What is the difference between managing and leading. You see, I had asked the question just to get a conversation going, but I didn’t have a specific answer in mind
In my view, Managing is a subset of leading. You can’t lead if you don’t manage. Every true leader needs to manage in order to lead. Many people think that a leader is someone who has a vision. This is true, but not enough. A leader has a vision, but he also has a plan to manage his team into that vision. He will make sure that the entire team buys into the vision, adopts it, breaths it, lives it and basks in it. A leader will never push his team towards the vision; he will not need to, his team will want to go there, they will see why it is the right way to go.
A manager, will concern himself only with today’s problem. How are the numbers going? How can we close this deal? He will ensure that things run smoothly and efficiently. He will refine the process, remove the obstacle. But, he is not taking his team anywhere. He is not showing them the end goal, the finish line.
So, what makes a good leader? This is an extremely difficult question to ask. Some will tell you charisma, some will tell you knowledge. I think a good leader is someone who is not afraid. A good leader is not afraid to think outside the box, he is not afraid to innovate, he is not afraid to boldly go where no one has gone before. A true leader has the courage to do what is right. A true leader has the ability to make others see and share his vision. A good leader never tells, he communicates; a true leader rarely talks, he always listens.
A good manager makes his numbers. His team is well organized, efficient and motivated. A good manager communicates effectively up the ladder and down the ladder. A good manager has things under control, all the time.
I interviewed a second person this morning for our Greek office
Me: “So, Marco, tell me, what do you think the difference is between a leader and a manager”
Marcos: “You lead, I manage”
Me: “What do you mean?”
Marcos: “Well, you are the boss, you lead me, I will manage the team to make your vision happen”
Me: (Hum, that guy is good!!)
Me: “And how do you plan on managing the team?”
Marcos: “In which ever way you think it appropriate”
Me: (Hum, my ass is getting humid)
Me: “So, you would do what I tell you?”
Marcos: “Of course, you are the boss, I will always follow what you tell me”
Me: (Stop licking my ass, my underwear is getting sticky)
Me: “What if I am not reachable?”
Marcos: “I will wait for you to lead me”
Are you a leader or a manager? Do you lead in you life? Or do you manage? Do you lead your wife/gf/husband/bf? Or do you manage? Do you lead or manage your parents? Do you lead or manage yourself?