You can lead a horse to water… but can you manage him to drink?

Sometimes it’s semantics (words, language), and sometimes it’s some antics (behaviour).

I recently responded to a blog post about the contrasts and comparisons between leaders and managers. We have all encountered both species in our working lives and personal lives. My premise is that it’s about the behaviour, not the label.

What did I say? Let’s tune in…

While I agree that theoretically, there are significant differences in the roles of leaders and managers, there are, as pointed out by many of you, times when leaders have to be managers as well, and vice versa.

Often when there is a need, a time or a circumstance for leading or for managing, it doesn’t matter whether the “Hello! I’m __________” name tag we slap on someone’s lapel says, “Hello! I’m a Manager”, or “Hello! I’m a Leader”.

In today’s world, unfortunately these labels have become interchangeable.

I think the comparisons and contrasts are not between managers and leaders, but, rather, between managing vs leading.

It’s not about your title, it’s what you do with it.

It’s about leading with integrity to get to a desired outcome in a way that has a positive impact on the team, the organization and your reputation.

Makes me think of the Margaret Thatcher quote posted on twitter earlier by @Leadershipfreak: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.”

Leading is self-evident — you don’t have to tell anyone you’re doing it, because it shows.

1 Comment

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One response to “You can lead a horse to water… but can you manage him to drink?

  1. I really like your writing style, wonderful information, thankyou for posting : D.

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