27 May 2010

Do You Lead or Manage?

A few weeks ago, Wendy Forsythe published a post, The Attributes of Great Real Estate Companies. The number one attribute listed was “Strong Leadership,” a worthy attribute indeed.

Leadership and management have often been used interchangeably, and though there are many times when leaders and managers share roles, there is a distinct difference between them.

My “aha” moment on this came several years ago. In talking with the president of a real estate firm at an interview, he continually referred to his upper level team as leaders. These leaders ran all departments at the corporate and branch levels. “Most companies hire managers,” he said.  “I hire leaders. Leaders can manage, not all managers can lead.” I thought about that after our meeting and the distinct differences between them.

Take a look at the article by ChangingMinds.org. In it, they make effective comparisons between leading and managing. A few takeaways I found…

  • Leading is charismatic, managing is authoritative.
  • Leading appeals to the heart, managing is transactional.
  • Leading is people focused, managing is work focused.
  • Leading gives credit to others, managing takes credit.

If you are a broker owner or a branch “manager,” you often switch hats throughout the day and keeping perspective can be difficult. I have kept perspective through the years with one simple rule: Lead people, manage business. I have found that even the most independent of independent contractors wants to be led. I can’t think of one who wants to be managed.

When looking at company value packages, agents will choose a brokerage firm first based on leadership. They leave for lack of the same. Do you lead or manage?

2 thoughts on “Do You Lead or Manage?

  1. Its amazing to me…there are more books, blogs, seminars, workshops on leadership than ever before and yet…great leadership seems to be a lacking resource.

    As you mentioned, "Leading gives credit to others, managing takes credit." sometimes leading means getting out of the way. You don't always need to be in the front. Sometimes you can be, should be in the middle. Sometimes you should get out of the way completely.

    I'm still very curious why we seem to be deficit of quality leadership now a days.

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