Essay on Leaders and Managers

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Leaders and Managers

A former advertising campaign for a beer company established the slogan, "Tastes great, less filling." The light beer was not only tasty, but it also didn’t fill you up, combining two good qualities into one product. Like the beer, you also need to demonstrate multiple abilities. To be successful in today’s industry, a combination of both leadership and management skills is required. Just like the beer that claimed to be both tasty and less filling, you need to be able to be both a leader and a manager in your organization. That sounds easy, but there is one problem; leadership and management are two separate skills.

To understand the difference, we first need to define leadership and management. Leadership
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The key is that the leader is involved in setting this process. Someone needs to be thinking about the needs of the group for the long term. That someone is the leader. That someone might be you.

Aligning people

Leaders also get people moving in the same direction by using brainstorming and planning sessions. The power of alignment is best illustrated by a comparison between a standard light bulb and a laser. Simplifying the physics, both devices emit electrons of light. In the light bulb, electrons are moving in many different directions, and they are not working together. The laser, on the other hand, is a monochromatic beam of collimated electrons that are all moving in the same direction at the same frequency and amplitude. The result is a highly concentrated beam that has tremendous energy. While a light bulb illuminates, a laser can cut like a knife. Imagine all your people moving and working with a similar focus of energy.

Motivating and inspiring

Most people are motivated by something. You can create an environment in which followers choose to be motivated in support of the direction you have set out. You create that environment by consistently walking your talk, listening, communicating, and offering praise for jobs done well. Remember the old cliché, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink."


Management, on the other hand, is about the "hard skills." Management focuses on the business of the
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