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Chris LoCurto

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August 1, 2013

The Difference Between Leading & Managing – Q&A Series

August 1, 2013 | By | 54 Comments">54 Comments

A few months ago, I asked for your biggest questions on business, leadership & life. Your responses were incredible (the #CLoTribe rocks!) & today, we’re kicking off a weekly Q&A video series. I’ll be taking the next 12 weeks to answer your questions each Thursday. Today’s question comes in from Nathan: Question

I believe my answer is considerably different from what Nathan was expecting.

Question: What are your thoughts on managing vs. leading? 

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  • Tony Daniel

    You definitely lead people. However, don’t be under the illusion that you only manage processes. Processes are nothing more than structures that produce results. However, processes do not work themselves. People work processes and people must be managed in such processes. One of the key components of managing is directing. You do not direct processes. You direct people. Good managers learn to produce good results through people. In an organizational setting, leaders think on a higher level to view trends and create vision of the organization. Strategies are created to reach that vision. Managers manage people who perform the work in the processes that will fulfill those strategies that accomplish the mission and vision.

  • John Stancil

    thanks for your work, interesting take on leadership. I first saw this modeled in the service a long time ago. GySgt I knew was the understated leader and kept us all working to be better

  • Jenny Ballard

    Chris,

    I like your message. This works with people with drive ,
    initiative & self determination. My question is how to lead the
    youth of today who don’t care about anything other than a paycheck? They have no integrity, think they know everything & are doing you a
    favor by showing up. My philosophy is “Sanctioned incompetence is
    demoralizing” but I neither hire nor fire. And “Management” doesn’t seem to care.
    Thanks, Jenny

    • DaAnne Smith

      I just finished listening to the Entreleadership podcast where Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick-fil-A was interviewed. He spoke about how they inspire teenagers who work for them. Jenny, you should check it out!

      • Jenny

        DaAnne,
        I have listened to all of the podcasts. That is where I met Chris. These kids think that kind of advice is “Talking Down to them”. They think they are better than anyone else. The only thing they understand is consequences, if they get caught. Otherwise they lie about everything & dare you to catch them. Then they claim they are being discriminated against. They were never taught responsibility or honesty as kids. Thanks for your response.
        Jenny

  • Jenny Ballard

    Chris,
    I like your message. This works with people with drive , initiative & self determination. My question is how to lead the youth of today who don’t care about anything other than a paycheck? They have no integrity, think they know everything & are doing you a favor by showing up. My philosophy is “Sanctioned incompetence is demoralizing” but I neither hire nor fire. And “Management” doesn’t seem to care.
    Thanks, Jenny

  • Mike Miller

    Great advise Chris. We have found that by teaching our team to battle plan their goals then inspect what has been expected we obtain our best results. Thanks for all you do.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I like that plan!

  • http://jonstolpe.com/ Jon Stolpe

    Great thoughts here, Chris.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Jon!

  • Crystal Paine

    You’re brilliant, wise, and humble. And that’s why I’m one of your biggest fans… even though I know you don’t really like having fans. :)

    Thanks for shooting it straight and inspiring us to greatness!

    • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      …unless its the middle of summer. Then fans are nice ;)

      • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

        Unless you break…nevermind.

        • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          Touché

    • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

      Amen to that!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I will take it!! And you know the feeling is mutual!

  • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

    @BrockTheIntern rocked it!
    Great distinction here Chris. Leadership abosolutely involves asking better questions.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thanks Jon!

  • Kim Hoyt

    So now you are the other Cee Lo! I love it. And good luck to Brock. Looks like he is not waiting to be told what to do. As always, Chris, I think you are doing a great job and I really enjoy listening and watching your posts. I have recommended you to many peeps.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      That means a lot to me Kim!

  • http://www.boneheadbusiness.com/ Ryan Yamane

    New to your blog. Great perspective on leadership! So many times, the term “leadership” is soft, fuzzy, and overused, but this video really has legs. It all about how you view your role (supporter vs enforcer) and the type of questions you ask. Good stuff, thanks for posting!

    • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      Ryan! Welcome to the CLoTribe!! Hope you come back!

      You’re so right. “Leadership” is a word that’s thrown around willy nilly a lot. But it’s hard to do, and very rewarding!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      My pleasure Ryan!

  • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

    I have to agree with you Chris. Managing would only be required if you make poor hiring decisions, don’t address issues quickly and don’t communicate to your team. In short, managing is only required if there’s a lack of leadership :)

    I love your point about being friends with your team and the “we” mentality at Poimen.

    It’s amazing the productivity jump when there isn’t a boss and workers, rather teammates working together to kick butt and make a difference!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Amen brutha!

  • http://teachingstewardship.com/ Brian Horvath

    I agree with Erik Fisher…nice beard! In addition, I loved the video post and put it to action instantly with a new admin assistant that my Stewardship ministry has. Simply put, what can I do to help you be successful in your position? Chris, thanks for your leadership and consistent message through the years! Keep rockin’ (the beard, too!)

    Also, breaking the mold that leaders can/cannot be friends with team! Good word and great leadership!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thank brother! Glad you like the beard!

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    1. Rockin’ scruff beard!

    2. @BrockTheIntern! Love it!

    3. Dude. It may be common sense, but as my dad used to say (and I hated that he did) “Common sense isn’t really common”.

    You basically broke it down and stated this fact: Lead people well, and they won’t need ‘management’. Obviously this plays out by making sure you do what it takes to make sure THEY are successful, instead of demanding they make YOU successful.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Preach it brother!

    • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      Erik, that last part seems like something I’d hear CLo say ;)

  • Benjamin Nelson

    Great word Chris. Very clear distinction. Thank you.

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      Thank you Benjamin!

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

    Very nice format for Q&A!

    I think we manage projects and lead people. A ‘people’ manager demands results; a leader promotes growth and autonomy. On my team, I am working hard on teaching why we make certain decisions. I’ve heard more than once “I know you don’t like things done this way”, as if things are tailored to my personal preferences, rather than our quality standards. I lead a huge project, but people don’t report to me, so it’s tough for all of us to figure out how that works. I am also being charged more with the “business side”, consulting with the client, managing a budget and assigning resources. There’s a lot I need to learn… that’s for sure!

    • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

      I’m sure you are doing great Lily! Just having that attitude, “there’s a lot I need to learn” will take you sooo far!!!

      • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

        Amen! Lil, what don’t you rock at?!

        • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          The only thing she doesn’t rock at is “not rocking”

          :)

          • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

            You just made my head explode.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          Right now I can provide a list of at least 20 things…but I know I can count on you and the Tribe to lift the ol’ spirit up!

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        Thanks, Bob!!

    • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

      Lily, “manage projects and lead people”?? Are you sure you haven’t read Stephen Covey??

      You’re so very right. Covey used to say that you can be efficient with “things” but effective with people.

      I think it just goes back to the fact that the leader is really concerned only with making the team successful!

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

        I’m sure I have read Covey, years ago, but I have not memorized his work as you have. :)

        • http://www.sieverkropp.com/ Mark Sieverkropp

          Well then you’re missing out!

  • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

    Love the video Chris! I’m sure the tribe is going to be all over this!

    What you are talking about here is crucial to developing a strong team. This kind of leadership requires patience, trust, and humility. Letting go of some control seems to be one of the hardest thing for “managers” to grasp in my opinion.

    Let’s face it, control is often what got them to the party!

    I always like to flip this around and ask them, how would you want to be “managed” in that position?

    Nice video bomb Brock!

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      That’s so true! The thing that sucks is managers were lead by…wait for it…a manager. I like the way you flip it around Bob!

  • Daniel Good

    That was awesome Chris. How do you deal with Team members referring to you as Boss? I despise the term and maybe I have not been clear enough with them.

    • http://CorporateCultureRevolution.com/ Bob Winchester

      Hey Daniel! I hope you don’t mind me popping in on your question…

      In the past, I’ve personally used “Boss” as a term of endearment. I guess it depends on the context, but personally I wouldn’t take offense to it.

      “Hey boss, can you help me figure this out?” Versus “Ok, you are the boss”. Totally different vibe in these two scenarios.

      Curious to hear what everyone else thinks!

      • http://www.getservekeep.com/ Joel Fortner

        Daniel, as one of Chris’ team members, Chris wouldn’t go for it because of what you heard him say in the video. Generally speaking though, I’ve also used it as a term of endearment and I think that’s fine, but if a “boss” insists on it or expects it, there’s an ego problem and I venture to say there are other problems on that team, too.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

          You mean he doesn’t have a big old sign on his desk that states “Boss”?

          • http://www.getservekeep.com/ Joel Fortner

            No. Just a framed poster.

            • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ Lily Kreitinger

              Don’t give me ideas. I have Power Point and I’m not afraid to use it.

        • http://www.mattmcwilliams.com/ Matt McWilliams

          What if we are comparing @ChrisLoCurto:disqus to Bruce Springsteen? @bobwinchester:disqus

    • http://www.ChrisLoCurto.com Chris LoCurto

      I had a guy who did that. I asked him not to and told him it was demeaning to BOTH of us. He understood and held off for awhile. One day he said, “hey boss” so I responded with, “hey employee”. He stopped. :-)

      • http://JonDHarrison.com/ Jon D Harrison

        Leading “like a boss”…oh. Nevermind…

  • Daniel Good

    Thanks Chris it was a Great way to start my day.