Our friend Tamela Townsend pointed me to an article by Vineet Nayer regarding the difference between leading and managing.
He made three assertions:
Leaders create value rather than count value. Leaders recognize those who can take a project and turn it into value independent from the leader’s action. Rather than monitor and manage, they empower. They create an opportunity to be made in multiple venues at the same time.
Leaders influence others rather than construct power structures. They create influence by listening, teaching, questioning and giving feedback. Nayer says you know you’re an influencer when you are asked for advice and called upon to problem solve.
Finally, leaders deal with people rather than manage work. I saw a chart once that demonstrated this. It demonstrated that the more organizational responsibility you have, the less technical or hands-on are your actions.
As a leader, if you find yourself doing the work, you have to recognize that you walked around, through or over somebody else to do it. Many times it’s done out of habit or convenience. It’s accomplished without you recognizing its implications.
So, make an assessment. Are you managing where you are called to lead?