Just for a minute, let’s talk about making lists of tasks. Have you ever made a practical list of everything you need to achieve? Of course you have, everyone has. We’ve all, at some point, made lists of tasks we need to achieve on a monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly basis. Some of us, particularly those running our own businesses, live by these lists and use them to organise, control, and pursue our achievements and goals.

Right, now let’s ignore this notion of lists and turn our attention to management and leadership (it’ll all make sense soon enough). The two are inextricably linked, and for good reason. There’s this general understanding that as a manager, you’re expected, among other things, to lead. If you’re a leader, you’re also expected to be able to demonstrate managerial skills and be able to manage projects, people, and your business at large.

But what’s the connection between management and leadership? Should we understand these terms as being linked?

The Differences Between Management and Leadership

To break it down, the word “manage” is a verb that quite literally means handling and in the 1560s it was used with regards horses – to “handle, train, or direct” a horse. Essentially, the word was used to talk about controlling a horse and very quickly this meaning was extended to the sense of controlling or directing any sort of business by administrative ability. In fact, by the 1650s to “manage” was to get by or carry on with affairs.

Nowadays, we use the word “manage” to imply handling primarily smaller concerns with closer and constant attention to detail. But what’s important to take away from this definition is the fact that “manage” is control-based and therefore a manager is concerned with controlling the details and environment around them.

Alternatively, “lead” means to guide. In Old English, this term refers to, and I’m paraphrasing here, causing others to join you as you march at the head of or go before as a guide. Generally, the root of this word speaks to causing others to accompany you as you show the way. It is related more to travelling, going forward, and inspiring others who are following you on a journey.

Consider the Vikings, who were led on extremely difficult journeys that they otherwise would never have embarked on had they been left to their own devices.

What Does This Mean to You?

As promised, let’s think back to that list of tasks. When you consider this exercise and the nature of what you listed, what is controlling and what is inspiring about how you pursue your goals? Or to put it more simply, what do you do that is controlling and what do you do that leads and inspires people to follow you?

Perhaps your answers are confusing. Are you both a leader and a manager, or one or the other? Can you be both? If you can be both, then do you know when to swap your managerial skills with that of a leader?

If you’re asking questions like these and want to know how to better your sales, improve your numbers, and generate more business through applied behavioural changes, then you’re in the right place.

Talk to me today about investing in learning how you can become an intuitive and inspiring leader who connects with different types of people and makes a difference to your business’ bottom line.