Managing vs leading.

I’ve asked some friends for advice on managing a team and a lot of people respond with things on “leadership”.

I find that jump interesting. Of course there’s a lot of crossover between the two but I don’t view them as the same.

Leadership involves setting the vision and prioritise for a team. It’s about knowing where you should go and communicating that vision.

Management is about getting the most out of the people who report to you. Leadership and vision help with that, but it’s not the end of the discussion.

You can set and communicate a great vision with everyone bought in, but there can still be management issues (conflicts between team members, under performance from a team member, one team member needs a different approach, someone isn’t doing their best work) and when the vision is less than perfect, more problems can be added on.

I’m not saying that I’m a perfect leader, but I believe that my management issues aren’t related to my leadership but to my management. It’s even possible that my focus on setting a vision might be interfering with helping my team members. What I mean is I can be so focused on the goal that we should be going towards, that I miss the issues that are preventing team members from reaching that goal.

I suspect that I’m being tough on myself here (as I often am) and overthinking this, but it’s certainly an interesting area for me as I’m in the process of changing my mind on this subject.

Perhaps I’ll share more soon.