Are you the one who wants to be in the weeds and wants to do the planning and problem-solving?

Or are you the type who wants to cast a vision and strategize for the future?

The former describes the role of a manager, while the latter describes the role of a leader.

You can be both in your company – but you don’t have to be.

Managers vs. Leaders

Managers embrace processes. They seek to stabilize control or solve problems quickly. They organize people and create order. They focus on the organizational structure of your company like staffing and jobs.

On the other hand, leaders will tolerate chaos and lack of structure in order to understand an issue more fully. They cast a vision and align their people toward it. Leaders motivate, teach, and empower their team instead of controlling it.

Organizations need both managers and leaders, but most organizations are over-managed and under-led. It’s hard to find people with both skills because they’re really not the same.

Leadership by Design

Designing your business around your role creates tremendous accountability. 

  1. Be clear about which role you want to take.

Leading by design prevents reactionary leadership, which puts you right back in the manager’s seat. It makes you jump into the chaos and you try to control and problem-solve. 

There’s nothing wrong with that. 

But if you choose to truly lead, you have to be nimble and agile in order to remain competitive in a world that’s volatile and prone to change.

Your role creates a ripple effect on everyone else in our organization. It gives you more opportunities to empower your team and create stability especially during seasons of change. 

  1. Design a team around it.

Once you’re able to purify your role, define the other roles you need to fill in the gaps within your team (ex. operations director, executive assistant, etc).

When you design and operate in your purest form of leadership, remember that you can’t stand alone. You need to lean onto your team to give your business strength, durability, and stability. 

If you want to learn more about how you can lead by design as a leader, check out the Diary of a Doer Podcast on