Merge's Blog

Managers vs. leaders: What vs. How

If you’ve spent any time with me (via this blog, my newsletter, or in person), you know that the overriding message I give to people in organizations is that there is a significant difference between managers and leaders: management is what you do, leadership is how to do it.  In fact, the foundation of my entire professional practice is based on turning managers into leaders!

My friend and professional colleague Mike Kerr, the Humor at Work guy, recently filmed a very funny spoof of the Mac vs. PC commercials, in which he illustrated the difference between managers and leaders.

See, the manager on the left just doesn’t get it – he thinks it’s all about the what – so he invents the Smile-o-Matic.  The leader on the right though knows that it’s about the how.  It isn’t good enough to just make people smile, they have to smile because they want to.  So the leader on the right focuses on creating a positive and productive work environment, he focuses on the how, in order to give his people reasons to smile.  Not that tough, right?  So then why do so many managers miss the boat?

By the way, if you just happen to be one of the few people who has never seen a Mac vs. PC commercial before, below are two of my all-time favourites.  I just love Mr. Bean!

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