Manager vs. Leader

I woke up the other day and was have some time between me and God and I felt like He asked me this very simple question. “Do you want to be a leader or a manger?” That was it. No clarification, no answers, no direction, just a simple question. Since then that question has been rolling around in my head constantly.

That question created a whole stream of other thoughts that perhaps I will share at another time. One of those thoughts was the simple difference of responsibilities between one who leads and one who manages. You may not agree with my break down but for the purposes of what I feel God was telling me here it is anyway.

Manager: This is someone whose responsibility is to make sure that the systems and structures that have already been in place are functioning properly. Keywords: Maintain, Get-by, and Survive.

Leader: Although a leader must make sure systems and structures are working properly it is also their responsibility to produce change in those areas where change is needed. A leader is driven by passion, purpose and a clear vision. A leader looks beyond what is to what should be and then takes people there with him. Keywords: Create, Move-on, and Grow.

It is natural for us to settle on management. It’s easier, less risk and a whole lot more predictable. When everything gets in a groove so do we but as leaders we must fight the groove. That is exactly how we become set in our ways. God asked that question to me because I had settled on management. It’s a question we need to ask ourselves every morning when we wake up. Do we want to be managers or leaders?