Are you a Leader or a Manager?!

The Islander – February 2022

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Whilst the leaders paint the vision, the managers make it happen

“So what’s the difference between a leader and a manger”, I hear you ask? Tell me how many great leaders dead or alive can you name? Ten, 20 or even more given the time, I’m sure. Now ask yourself the question – “How many great managers can I name?” (and by the way you can only list one sports personality!).

Why is it so hard to name great managers? They no doubt exist in organisations across the globe? Who was in Steve Jobs’ amazing management team? One of the reasons it’s so difficult to name great managers, is because they work behind the scenes. What is it that great managers do? If you can add the word management to it, they do it!

Time management, resource management, project management, etc. In essence they plan, organise, coordinate, problem solve, deal with discipline, conduct appraisals and so the list goes on!

By contrast our memorable leaders inspire and motivate us to achieve their vision. They are persuasive characters and we work for them because we want to, not because we have to! Take a look at the list below – where do you see yourself….?


Which are you …. a leader or a manager? What do your crew need from you? The motivation and inspiration that a leader can give in order for crew to have the stamina to see the job through, or to provide structure, training and tools to get on and do the job well? Clearly the answer lies in both – regardless of which you gravitate towards (and rest assured, one will be easier for you than the other), crew will need you to flex between the two all day, every day.

General Slim put it in a nutshell.

“Management is of the mind, leadership is of the spirit.”

Whilst the leaders paint the vision, the managers make it happen. Finding the right balance can be a challenge. Lead too much with few clear standards and you risk a rule of chaos and poor discipline. Manage too much and you end up stifling crew morale and creativity, and become the micromanager you loathed working beneath.

Take the time to prepare your morning brief, is there something in that brief to inspire, challenge and empower your team? What’s the bigger picture, why are you asking them to give their all today? Sharing information and explaining the ‘WHY’ are your opportunities to motivate and inspire your crew. Do you give enough praise and recognition? Go out of your way and catch individuals doing great work, and let them know you have noticed. Giving praise doesn’t cost anything other than a few minutes of your time, think of it as winding up the mechanical watch, it continues to work whether you are there or not.

If you think leaders are born and not made, all you need do is take a look at a number of more recent politicians to see how they have gown with the benefit of coaching and mentoring over their years at the helm!

Of course it is equally important to ensure crew have the skills, tools and time to do the job too. Very few people make mistakes deliberately, so think about how you handle that situation. Equally if someone is slacking, or pushing the boundaries, it’s important to deal with the situation……early. There’s nothing more frustrating (and de-motivating) than giving your all, whilst someone else is shirking their responsibilities.

Contact Impact Crew now to find out how one of our highly professional consultants can support you on your leadership and management journey and become that person that juniors aspire to be.