…today’s secret…Leaders vs Managers.

Organizations are usually created by a leader and optimized by a manager.

Leaders create things from nothing. Managers then slowly improve those things.

One of the most important roles of a board of directors is know when an organization needs a leader and when it needs a manager.

Please, don’t mistake my tone. Both are vital to an organization.

However, leadership and management are two different skill sets.

Managers are given authority over others.
Leaders are voluntarily followed by others.
Managers plan and execute.
Leaders improvise and innovate.

Managers prefer a map.
Leaders prefer to explore.
Managers prefer slow evolution.
Leaders prefer whiz-bang revolution.
Managers work around realities.
Leaders work around possibilities.
Managers guard what’s now.

Leaders invent new ways to do.
Managers are repulsed by chaos.
Leaders thrive amidst chaos.
Managers are empowered by order.

Leaders feel handcuffed by order.

The challenge is to know which is needed when in the life of an organization as very few people can be both a manager and a leader.

Many non-profit organizations who help the marginalized are pros at guarding the status quo. Their managers think they can lead when needed, but no, not really.

If your organization is feeling a little stuffy or behind-the-times and in need of an energy transfusion, maybe it would be good to give some authority to a leader who is a highly productive troublemaker who know which rules to break, which procedures to change, and which policies to end.

But, be careful, leaders think they can also manage, but no, not really.

Just thinkin’ our loud here from past experience…