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Ten Signs Your Boss Is A Manager — But Not A Leader

Source | Forbes.com.com  |  BY:Liz Ryan ,  CONTRIBUTOR

A simple way to answer the question “What’s the difference between managing and leading?” is this:

Managing people means watching them to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do.

The concept of traditional supervision is rooted in the fear that working people will misbehave or make mistakes if someone isn’t watching them to make sure they don’t.

 

A manager marches backwards, watching their troops like a hawk in case somebody is marching incorrectly. They cannot look out over the horizon when they’re marching backwards!

A leader faces forward and marches confidently, assuming their troops will follow them because they trust their troops and themselves.

A simple way to answer the question “What’s the difference between managing and leading?” is this:

Managing people means watching them to make sure they do what they’re supposed to do.

The concept of traditional supervision is rooted in the fear that working people will misbehave or make mistakes if someone isn’t watching them to make sure they don’t.

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A manager marches backwards, watching their troops like a hawk in case somebody is marching incorrectly. They cannot look out over the horizon when they’re marching backwards!

A leader faces forward and marches confidently, assuming their troops will follow them because they trust their troops and themselves.

Leaders are confident enough to hire people they can trust and let them do whatever they do best with a minimum of oversight.

Managers cannot relax into trust. They are keyed up, judgmental and certain that dire consequences will befall them if they ever let their vigilance flag.

Managerial fear is the great unaddressed workplace topic that sucks vision, creativity, collaboration and profitability from organizations large and small!

It is hard to talk a fearful manager into adopting a confident leader’s mindset because to do so the fearful manager would have to gain a level of self-awareness that they do not understand.

Because they sit in fear, they assume everyone is guarded and political the way they are.

They cannot see trust. They believe that without their constant inspection and evaluation, their department would fall to pieces.

We have been so well-trained in the concepts of fear-based management that we do not recognize there is another way to lead. We can lead without reams of policies and rules.

We can lead people by involving them in decision-making and inspiring them to band together to accomplish something cool.

It is a human urge to create and collaborate unless we thwart the urge by rating and ranking people relative to one another and by tying them down with pointless daily and weekly yardsticks.

When we make work a zero-sum game where my triumph is my co-worker’s downfall, we are not only cruel but bad business people, also.

Here are 10 signs your boss is a manager — but not a leader.

1. They don’t ask for their teammates’ opinions before making decisions. They do not dare to share their authority with anyone. They believe their authority to make decisions without asking for input is the source of their power.

2. They do not acknowledge their employees for their effort or accomplishments. They are afraid to thank and recognize their teammates because they need to keep the unequal power relationship intact.

3. They cannot be wrong. Even when everybody knows the manager is wrong, no one will say it because of the force field around the manager. They pretend the manager is not wrong and the manager pretends to believe it, too.

4. They cannot handle dissent or even polite debate.

5. They can only take advice from their subordinates when they are behind closed doors with one person.

Readon…

 

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