There's a difference between management and leadership.

Management is about doing stuff - the day to day operations needed for the tactical things to get done.

Leadership, on the other hand, is about people. It's less about what you're doing and more about who you're being. It's how you show up for your people. It's being available to handle the human side of things.

When we are constantly worried about the tactical - what deadlines to hit, what metrics to reach, what projects to ship - we have less time to take care of the people who make all those tactical things happen. As Simon Sinek shares, leaders aren't responsible for the results. Leaders are responsible for the people who are responsible for the results. And without the support of our people, it's us who feel like we have to take more responsibility for the tactical because we know it's our butts on the line.

What if we focused more of our energy on leading and building relationships with our people so that we could trust them and they'd trust us? Then we could empower them to take accountability for the tactical, which would open us up to do what we do best as leaders - look to and plan for the longer term future.


If you're in a position of leadership in your organization, consider this question, "What percentage of my time do I spend managing vs. leading?" If the leading percentage is smaller, imagine what would be possible if the numbers were reversed.


Written by David Mead