Tag Archives | Leadership

What’s the Difference Between a Leader and a Manager?

I don’t think many people in business ask themselves this question, or at least they don’t think about it often enough.  I would like to believe I came up with a great, or at least fun, way to answer this question a few years ago using logging as an analogy.  It’s super simple and visceral and once you hear/see it you will never forget it, so here it goes:

The manager in a logging company is the woman who finds the most efficient way to chop down every tree in the forest.  She plans diligently weeks or months in advance, going over every minute detail, every contingency to ensure she has the proper equipment, licenses and people to do the job as safely, quickly and cost effectively as possible.

The leader in the logging company is the woman that climbs to the top of the highest tree and shouts “hey guys, we’re in the wrong forest!”

And there you have it: big picture vs. day-to-day management. Both are extremely valuable, but also very different. I feel like this should be on one of those inspirational posters, but then again, maybe that’s where I got it from in the first place.

24 more posts to go in my 30 posts in 30 days challenge.

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