I recently spoke with some folks like you who have read the series of my writings about Leader vs Manager (vs Coach). I came away realizing that I had ignored something very basic in my prior emails, which was to spell out why it’s so important to know the differences among these roles.
The reason why it’s important to know these distinctions is simple: Mistakes in hiring and placing people.
If we hire a strong Leader in the role of an Employee who is expected to follow directions, we have a disaster waiting to happen. If we hire someone who naturally gravitates towards being a Coach or a Guide, she will make an extremely poor choice for the role of a Manager. By the same token, a Manager will more easily grow into the role of a Leader or Employee, but will struggle being a Coach or a Teacher. And an Employee will adapt better to being a Manager or a Coach but will struggle with the role of a Leader.
Don’t take my word for it. Just look around. Or probe your history of hiring and placing people. Get your ego out of the way and give it some serious thought. If you are like most business leaders I know, you will have hired based on resume, prior experience and what the candidates tell you about themselves. Sometimes we get lucky and stumble upon a great hire. But in most cases, hiring based on resumes and work history alone leads to misfits in workplace who drain everybody’s energies – including their own. So hiring, placing and promoting becomes a trial-and-error process where we keep hiring and firing people until we find the perfect fit. Or we learn to live with mediocre performers.
When we place right people in right positions, we set the stage for effortless – frictionless – yet efficient work environment. Equally important, we do a huge favor to the candidates who have little idea of what they should be doing, regardless of their college degrees and their work history. The lack of self-knowledge is a serious epidemic in our world today, where many people end up choosing professions they are not a proper fit for.
That’s why, I thought it would be helpful to list the resources I have developed so far about these roles in one place. So here they are. Simply click the link to read.
Leader vs Manager:
Leader vs Manager: Myths and Misconceptions (Lesson from movies Batman, Jurassic Park and Wall Street)
Leader vs Manager vs Coach: