Leadership (Part 1)

What’s the difference between leadership and management?  Although
I do not have specific detailed definitions to base the question on,
I’m pretty sure that there is a difference.  At least it feels
like there is when you’re the one being lead or managed.  Here are
some of the differences that I notice (particularly in church circles).

Leaders lead.
  That’s what they were made for.  That’s what
God called them to be.  When a leader is in the room everyone
knows it.  They look to him or her to provide direction. 
They don’t apologize for it.  They don’t gloat over it.  They
simply lead.  Not with mere words, but with passion and
sacrifice.  They are the ones out front.  Not to get the
glory, but to pave the way for those that are to come behind. 
Leaders lead.

Managers are different.  Management is focused on status
  Keep the machine running.  Don’t let things fall
through the cracks.  Management is also noticed when it enters a
room, but it is out of fear that it is noticed.  Conversations
stop.  Everyone waits for the next shoe to drop.  Managers
let others know that they are in charge.  It’s positional

Leadership is forward focused.
  It’s the “good vs. great”
principle.  Leadership never settles for good, but they aren’t
negative about it.  They appreciate the work that has gone into
becoming good.  But they challenge, motivate, call, and lead from
good to what can be great.  Leadership is always looking over the
horizon and charging into the next battle.  Leadership knows when
to retreat and rest, but continues to be forward focused.

Management is focused on the bottom line. 
Input vs. output. 
Hours spent.  Productivity.  Results.  Evaluation is
done not on what could be, but what is not.  Managers make sure
that the people around them know they are being watched.  Step out
of line…get a demerit.  Input vs. output.  It’s all very
sterile, cold, and  mechanical.

Leaders inspire.  They tap into the spirit and set it free to be
what it was called to be.  They relish in creativity, courage,
grit, and craftsmanship.  It’s been said that leaders don’t teach
men to build boats, they teach them to long for the open sea. 

Dream big!  Think differently!  Failure is seen as a learning
process in the journey of becoming. 

Managers…manage.  Keep the horses reigned in!  Don’t let
them get out of control.  We run a tight ship around here. 
Management allows a glimpse of what could be, but stifles the spirit
with the details of getting there. 

They say that everything rises and falls with leadership.
  I have
to agree with that.  And when it comes to the church becoming what
it needs to become in this changing culture, leaders are going to have
to lead (and they have to be allowed to lead by those that
manage).  We’ve got to stop discussing the current situation and
look to the horizon.  The battle is out there to be won or
lost.  But talking it to death while we sit still simply isn’t
going to get us anywhere.

Don’t hear me wrong on this one.  I know that there is a place for
management.  It has to be done by someone and it needs to be done
well.  What I’m saying is this — Managers cannot be leaders, and
leaders should not be managers.
  The two don’t mix well for
me.  Particularly when I’m looking to be lead.  Inspire me,
don’t control me.

I’m working out some of my thoughts on leadership over the next few
posts.  I’m sure that none of it is original thought, but I’m not
looking to do a research paper.  I’m longing for leadership…both
for me and from me.  I want to know my place as a leader, as well
as a follower.  So my question is this, “how do you know a leader
when you see one?”  What are the symptoms of leadership?  And
where is the line between leading and managing?

Lead on!


~ by Chris Green on July 6, 2005.

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