By Neil Phillips.

Do you spend most of your time leading or managing?  You do both, and you get to decide which part of your job is the favorite part.  I realize this can be one of those weird questions that makes you laugh just before you get to work on important stuff.  Take 3 minutes, put your work on pause, and consider this topic as an important one.  Your answer determines:

  • What makes you happy.
  • How you spend your time.
  • How high your ceiling is.
  • Your business goals and direction for the next few years.

Here are four of the differences.

  • Leaders create vision and challenge people to meet it. Managers execute to vision.  A leader figures out where you are, where you want to go and create a path to the future.  A manager takes a vision and determines the strategies and tactics to bring it into existence.

For example, a leader looks at their business and the future and says things like, “We need to double the number of promotions next year.”  A manager asks, “What do we need to do to achieve this goal?”

  • Leaders inspire. Managers direct.  Leaders want their people to stretch; to go for bigger and better goals to achieve their dreams.  They say things like “You’ll never achieve your dreams without growing.”  Managers want you to keep your feet on the ground while your head is in the clouds.  Feet on the ground get things done.

For example, a leader looks at their business and challenges their team by saying powerful things like, “If you truly want to make a difference for your family, you’ll have to step it up.”  A manager says, “Follow the plan, do the work, and you’ll hit your goal.”

  • Leaders seek risk. Managers seek comfort. Leaders want you not to get comfortable. They want you to take risks, test new ideas, confront your fears/challenges and keep moving.  They want you to learn your limits and then exceed them.  They know the world keeps moving and if you get comfortable, you’ll fall behind.  Managers want comfort.  When you get comfortable, you keep doing what you are doing; you stick around.

For example, a leader pushes your boundaries.  They say things like, “I see your team twice as big with everyone inspired by your vision to share the opportunity.”  A manager says “Keep doing what works.  It got you here.”

  • Leaders create value. Managers count value.  Creating and casting a vision is producing something new.  It’s the very definition of creating value where it didn’t exist. Managers help find the value that already exists.

For example, a leader may say, “Wow!  Just think of what you can do for your family while working to go on the company trip!”  A manager will ask, “What’s your plan to qualify?  What do you need to be doing?”

Admittedly, you both lead and manager in your job.  However, you get to decide which part of that makes you happy.  If you get great satisfaction in creating and casting vision, then figure out how to lean into it.  If your joy comes in helping people hit their goals, then put your time and energy into that part.

If you are not excited about your job, then you probably aren’t doing the right part.  You are letting your business drive you.  Make a choice.  Be the driver and not the passenger.  Be conscious about your choices.  Figure out what makes you excited, and then you can play to your strengths.

Who Drives Your Business?

Our goal at Team Connections Pro is to put you firmly in the driver’s seat.  We support leaders in direct sales.  You can find our core idea along with our logo “Sales leaders aren’t born.  They’re created.”

We’ll help you make your choices and support you in developing the business that makes you excited.