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« Where should you devote the most time - management, leadership or hands-on? | Main | Can anyone become a great leader? »

Managing or leading - which is most important? 

First off, let's define what managers and what leaders do:


  • Develop and implement action plans
  • Implement policy and procedures
  • Monitor systems and processes
  • Measure progress
  • Keep on track
  • Ensure people follow examples
  • Get the job done


  • Set strategy
  • Challenge processes
  • Question activities
  • Benchmark progress
  • Develop relationships
  • Set an example
  • Inspire and focus

If you want to grow your business, you or your 2iC must have good management skills to keep things on track. But to grow your business and improve its success, rather than just stay on track, you need leadership skills. Ideally, these two skills need to work in harmony.

A leader will plan where the organisation is going, and the manager will set the objectives so that the teams can get there. A leader will identify areas for future development and growth, and the manager will ensure new areas are implemented into the operating systems to achieve this. A leader will work out what skills the business requires in the future and the manager will develop or recruit people in line with what the business needs. A leader will set the big picture of an organisation and the manager will set the processes to accomplish that vision.

Management requires making sure things are working well right now. Leadership, however, requires the ability to guide, direct and influence people to new places.

At the end of the day, leadership must come before management, but management is necessary in order to implement the vision the leader creates.

To find out more about how to improve your leadership and management skills through joining my CEO coaching group, please click the link or get in contact.

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