LIWDOL — Lesson #4: Leadership vs. Management

13 Jul

Good to see you again on “Leadership Insights With David O. Lawal”. I trust you’ve been having a fantastic week. I encourage you to read this lesson from start to finish. Some good stuff are tucked away within its lines. Good luck.

The very first day we discussed leadership, Boluwatife got so curious. He displayed such an uncommon eagerness to grow. Within minutes, he started an amazing introspection. 14-year-old Bolu, unlike many other teenagers I’ve talked to about youngsters’ leadership, had no doubt that living out leadership as a youngster is, in fact, a worthy reality—an ideal that requires every youngster’s consideration, time and effort. He wanted to be sure if he’s headed the right direction. Bolu desires to be more than a boss; he wants to become a leader.

Here’s an excerpt from a conversation I once had with him on WhatsApp:

Wojuola Boluwatife (IIC): Is a Leader a Boss?

David O. Lawal: Okay. I’ll note the question.
David O. Lawal: But let me give you a direct answer to that.
David O. Lawal: It’s obviously NO.
David O. Lawal: A leader encourages. A boss commands.
David O. Lawal: A leader influences others through positive examples. A boss instructs.

Wojuola Boluwatife (IIC): Hmmmmmm
Wojuola Boluwatife (IIC): I think I now know I am a Leader and same time a Boss
Wojuola Boluwatife (IIC): But will try to amend my ways
Wojuola Boluwatife (IIC): But can a military man be a leader and not a boss?

I wouldn’t know why Bolu asked if a military man could be more than a boss and be a leader. But I sense Bolu loves authority. Recently, I saw a gallant picture of his, which he shot with (what I suppose to be) his Boy Scouts uniform on. Well, I have put this lesson together to answer Bolu’s question, because I believe you might also have a similar question to his.

The leadership-management misconception isn’t new. It’s one conflict leadership experts too deal with. Even adults, like youngsters, ask the same question at leadership workshops—both the Whites and people of colour. So think not yourself dumb to find both concepts a bit conflicting.

To show how much concern this misconception offers the leadership world, leadership expert John Maxwell had to write a whole chapter to answer this same question in his book, The 360° Leader; a chapter he titled, “Do More Than Manage—Lead!”

“People sometimes ask me to explain the difference between management and leadership,” Maxwell writes. “Here’s my take on it in a nutshell: Managers work with processes—leaders work with people.” Maxwell understands better. He’s been leading for over 40 years and teaching at leadership conferences for over 35 years. Added to that, John C. Maxwell has authored over 60 books, most of which are on the subject of leadership. Personally, I’ve learned a lot from his books and video and audio resources. He is such a teriffic leadership teacher. But I digress.

Back to our discussion. Today, with this lesson, I hope to help you figure out the difference between leadership and management. And as a result, I hope to have you do more than manage, but lead.

Therefore, let’s face it.

You manage excellently when you…

• Set goals with your team
• Use what you have—the people and resources at your disposal—to get what you want
• Execute a project, and
• Produce results

Do you see that management isn’t really a bad thing to do, after all? Any “boss” can do that.

Nevertheless, a leader—you—should do more than manage. Luckily, leadership is only a step away from management. If you find yourself guilty if being just a manager, and not a leader, the good news is that you’re missing just one thing—though something very, very significant. Let me explain.

To do more than manage, add to your management skills an unflinching interest in people . . . and there you are!

Unflinching means consistent. A leader is therefore an individual who has, added to his management skills, a never-dying interest in people.

And, yes, Boluwatife, a military man can be more than a boss; he can be a leader. All he needs to do to portray true leadership is for him to genuinely value the men under his authority. And that’s what you, too, need to model true leadership.

Go out and live out leadership today:

• Do more than manage—lead.
• Do more than keep old standards—set new standards.
• Do more than expect change—model change.
• Do more than set project goals—set people development goals.
• Do more develop problem-solving skills—also develop people skills.
• Do more improve your product—improve your people.
• Do more than instruct—inspire.

I wish to learn from you:
What’s your thought on today’s lesson? What do YOU think is the difference between management and leadership? Or do you think they’re similar? Tell me why you think a manager is a leader.

Discuss with other amazing young leaders here:

Good day.


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