Being a manager is different than being a leader.

Management is about efficiency and effectiveness. Leadership is about people and development.

A manager is sometimes a leader as well. A leader is sometimes a manager as well, but you can be a leader without a formal title.

Managers focus on telling staff what to do and communicating facts. When a manager is doing their job well, they train for the job that is being held by their people. They administer the plans set forth and maintain the systems in place. Managers get things done.

Leaders focus on empowering their staff in doing their job, handing over authority to complete it in the way they feel best, and communicate by inspiring through vision. When a leader is doing their job well, they are developing new leaders. Leaders envision plans as they see the ever changing work environment which means innovating and improving upon systems and processes to help their people work in the best environment possible. Leaders get things done through people.

Small But Significance Difference

This small but significant difference is extremely important in today’s turbulent, global environment. Nothing stays the same and there is nothing off limits in 2020.

We are in the midst of a global pandemic. We have had murder hornets. There was a land hurricane in the Midwest. In most of the US, our children are going to school but it is all distance learning and virtual.

And you most likely have staff that are working virtually, maybe for the first time ever.

In this time, they don’t need a manager breathing down their neck. They need a leader who can help them navigate the nuances of working from home. They need a leader who clearly communicates goals and the vision for the organization, so they feel connected to what is happening in the workplace, which is now all virtual.

If your people are not performing up to the standard that they are capable of, show them empathy and ask if they are ok. The conversation alone may be life giving to them in a season of a lot of stress.

Here’s the big secret…

you don’t have to be only one. It is time to start being a better manager by shifting your mindset and actions to encompass leadership aspects. 

How can you shift from only being a manager to being a leader, to help your people thrive? 

You will be surprised at the return you will receive from your employees when you change your mindset.

If you are a leader or emerging leader who wants to lead with meaning and purpose, then let’s connect. Join me at the Emerging Leaders Network (a group on Facebook) community designed for leaders to collaborate on best practices and discuss issues to become great leaders.

Stephanie German is a leadership coach and consultant, author, and adjunct professor. She holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership and loves giving back to her community in a variety of ways. When she’s not coaching clients or writing about leadership, Stephanie is usually headed to the mountains or the beach with her family, drinking savory wine, or working on the latest project with her husband. Stephanie’s greatest desires are to raise up the next generation of leaders while raising her own children to be strong, independent, and brave. She lives in Fresno, California with her husband Blake and her three spunky daughters, Cara, Kinsey, and Peyton. She is the best-selling author of So Your Boss Can’t Lead?

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