”If you are motivated by anything else other than the mission and vision, you should be managing–not leading.”

Many senior leaders do not understand their role as a strategic leader. They are mired in day-to-day management issues. Whatever shows up on their daily radar screen is where they focus.

Management consists of controlling a group of people or a of set projects to accomplish a goal. It is all about the bottom-line numbers. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute toward organizational success through a compelling vision and a competent team.

One of my favorite descriptions of a “managing” leader is, “They are like a termite in a yoyo.” The push and pull of urgent issues and balancing the tensions of people leaves them little time for strategic thinking and planning.

If you have strategic/vision (future) leadership responsibilities, your primary function is communicating–not managing the mission, vision, and values. If you don’t, who will? Your secondary role is empowering, inspiring, and providing resources for your team.

You can either manage your organization, or you can lead it. You cannot do both at the same time and do them well. If you try, you will do neither well. You will end up frustrating both those you” lead” and those you are trying to serve.

How do you get to be a great leader? As the legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi, once said, “Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price all of us must pay to achieve any mission or goal that is worthwhile. You don’t fall on the top of the mountain by accident.”

Are you leading or managing? If unsure, look at your calendar, to do list and journal.