Often times, the terms managing and leading are used interchangeably.  Personally, I believe there is a significant difference between the two.  Peter Drucker is credited with the following distinction: Leaders make sure the right things get done and managers make sure things get done right.

To support this distinction, consider the following:

Managers do the work that others should do; leaders collaborate with staff and facilitate the work being done. Some other distinctions include:

  • Managers look at problems and give orders to others to fix them; leaders encourage others to think through the cause, effect and solution to the problem so it doesn’t happen again;
  • Managers control the work of others by micro-managing their activities and acting as the QC checker; leaders transfer ownership of the work to the employee most capable of successfully performing the task;
  • Managers make decisions based on rules, policies and the way things have always been done; leaders facilitate innovation and new ways of thinking to accomplish more in less time.

Question, What other distinctions can you draw between managing and leading.  You can leave a comment here.