Yesterday, I attended an excellent online presentation given by Jimmy Duffy of Connacht Rugby. In his first slide, Jimmy asked this question “What do you need to be a leader?” To be honest I struggled with my answer. My answer was over complicated and long winded. The answer is actually quite simple. To be a leader you need followers.

People often mistake leadership and management but they are very different things. The main difference is that leaders have people who follow them, while managers have people who work for them.

Leadership is about getting people to understand and believe in the vision set for the company and to motivate them work hard to achieve that vision. Management is more about making sure day-to-day tasks are being completed because “that is what you are paid to do”.

Leadership and management are complimentary but they are not the same. For any organization to be successful, it needs leaders who can inspire and motivate as well as ensuring excellent execution of day-to-day tasks.

Perhaps another good question could be, Are you a Leader or a Manager?

Colm Mac Giolla Rí

colm@workcompass.com