I read a fantastic book by Jeb Blount called People Follow You: The Real Secret to What Matters Most in Leadership. It really helps one dial into to the concept of leading vs managing.

The major premise of the book is that people don’t follow companies, paychecks, incentives, stock options, fear, power, or fancy slogans—PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU.  So, if you are wondering why your people aren’t as productive as you’d like, the best things you can do is look in the nearest mirror for the answer.

Blount defines the following terms:

  1. Leading: Shaping the workplace through vision, innovation and inspiration. It is moving people emotionally to make that vision a tangible reality.
  2. Managing: Shaping work, projects, tasks and outcomes through a system of organizing, planning and directing.
  3. Coaching: The ongoing process of shaping and developing people through training, observation, feedback and follow-up in real time and on the job.

Can you see the major difference between leading vs managing and coaching? Managing and coaching are task-orientated. They are about doing this and doing that. They are about technical information…learning how to turn a wrench, push a button, make a sale, or whatever other technical skill drives your business. Managing and coaching are very necessary, because people need to know how to do these things. But, they are not leadership. And, leadership is required if you want to have a big business.

Leadership isn’t about tasks. Leadership is about emotions. Read that definition again. Leaders know the technical side of their business and they can answer questions and slip into the Manager/Coach role easily, but that’s not what they do. Leaders inspire others. Leaders build culture. Leaders know that connecting with people emotionally is more important than teaching them the technical skills. Teaching technical skills is nice and it’s easy, but it isn’t leadership.

Avoid the temptation to over-teach the technical skills and bring balance to your business by making sure you are leading like a visionary. If you need help getting dialed in this, message me and I’ll help you out.