October 19, 2023 5:41 am Published by

Imagine you’re planning a road trip from Toronto to Los Angeles. As fun as that sounds, especially during the cold winter months, it’s also a great analogy for the distinctions between leadership and management. Who knew you could learn so much from a road trip?  

Leadership is about setting the destination. As a leader, you’re the one in the driver’s seat who says, “we’re heading to California, specifically the Los Angeles area.” You don’t get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of routes or pit stops along the way. No, your role is to provide clear direction – the specific destination (it’s this location in LA, not San Diego, Santa Barbara or San Francisco) – and then you need to get the passengers excited about the trip.  

In business, this means providing a crystal-clear vision of where the business is going, as well as clarity with the team around their roles, responsibilities, and how they can contribute. It’s about getting them excited to drive the vehicle that is your business.  

On the flip side, there’s management. This is about determining the pit stops along the way, making the hotel reservations, and ensuring there’s enough gas in the car (and a million other things). The good news? This can all be delegated!  

Think of it as the day-to-day, in-the-trenches work. It’s where expectations need to be crystal clear – leaving no room for assumptions. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and communication is key. It’s about execution, delivering on your promises, and ensuring the donuts get made. 

In a nutshell, leadership is about setting the course and inspiring your staff toward an absolutely compelling future, while management is the hands-on, nuts and bolts daily grind of getting things done. Both are vital, and the balance between them is what makes your business thrive.  

Where do you need to level up?