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Leadership vs Management Part 1: Mythbusting

Whenever we conduct our leadership development program classes, there's one particular area of confusion that comes up over and over: the difference between a "leader" and a "manager."

They are not the same thing.

In fact, we'd go so far as to say that confusion about what differentiates a "leader" and a "manager" is at the heart of a large number of issues that come up when attempting to successfully guide an organization towards success. So, in this three-part series, X-Stream Leadership Group is going to take a deeper look at the matter.

Today's topic: Busting four common myths about managers and leaders.

Myth 1 - "Leadership" and "Management" Are Interchangeable

As we teach in our leadership development program, a leader has a clear vision for the future to allow an organization to do something it cannot currently do, as well as being able to articulate a plan for achieving that goal. A manager, on the other hand, is focused on the organization as it currently is, and on optimizing/maximizing the potential within that organization in line with a leader's vision.

Myth 2 - Leadership and Management Require the Same Skills

As with the difference in their roles, the skills required of leaders and managers vary significantly. In short: A leader must be able to articulate their vision of the future and convince a team to work towards it. A manager should be focused on day-to-day operations, and maximizing the performance of individuals in pursuit of shorter-term goals.

Myth 3 - There Is Such a Thing as a "Born Leader/Manager"

While people may be born with certain traits - such as high intelligence or a strong personality - that aid them in being leaders or managers, being an effective leader or manager still requires training, discipline, and an ability to learn from one's past experiences.

Myth 4 - Leadership Is All About Authority

True leadership is not about intimidating people or using rules or laws to exercise power over them. Genuine leaders convince people to willingly act in certain ways, even without overt use of power, because they can successfully convey their vision for the future.

For parts 2 and 3 of the series, where we'll look deeper into "What is a manager?" and "What is a leader?" Until then, to get an even deeper understanding of leadership in its many forms, contact X-Stream Leadership Group to learn more about our leadership development program! We have regional offices in Longmont, CO – Dallas, TX – Laurel Hill, FL serving clients in the larger Philadelphia, Denver and Dallas areas and World-Wide.

X-Stream Leadership Group, LLC   |   1248 Queen Street, Pottstown, PA 19464   |   PH (610) 908-2223   |   FX (610) 705-1892
Regional offices in Longmont, CO – Dallas, TX – Laurel Hill, FL serving clients in the larger Philadelphia, Denver and Dallas areas and World-Wide.