I know you have had your share of “manager versus leader” debates, articles, studies, info-graphics comparisons, and even memes! It’s overwhelming. And I don’t want to burden you with more proof or my perspective on this pointless debate.
Yeah, leadership is sexy. Everyone wants to be a leader, and nobody wants to be “just-a-manager.” I get it. But here’s something we should probably burn in our minds — almost every damn good leader is an effective manager, to begin with.
You can’t possibly be a decent leader (positional or influential) if you don’t have better-than-decent management skills. And getting there begins with managing oneself and eventually other people, money, data, things, emotions, or perceptions. In exceptional cases, some people are naturally good with all those aspects.
So, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that the art and science of “management” are beneath you because you’re convinced that you’re a “leadership material.” You will only fool yourself. Get serious about sharpening your management skills because they will define who you are as a leader in the future.
Understand: not all managers can be leaders, but all great leaders are great managers.