We tend to use the labels manager and leader interchangeably. Yet, each points to a specific role and set of competencies. Based on the work of John Kotter, here’s a quick way to discern with which space – manager or leader – you identify most?
Managers feel fulfilled accomplishing finite, specific tasks. Their focus tends to be on the more immediate gratification of short-term results. In conversations they ask what needs to be done and how.
Leaders feel rewarded when developing people and the organization. Their focus is on more intangible, longer-term results. They talk about what needs to be done and why. Their goal is to inspire others with their vision and direction.
Every organization needs a vision – a vivid description of an irresistible tomorrow that provides a sense of direction and sparks forward momentum.
Vision is an inspiring, compelling statement of aspiration. Short, succinct, bold, forwarding-looking, the statement imbues your business with a higher sense of purpose that makes work more meaningful and fulfilling. As you document the future you aspire to achieve, your vision statement transcends the circumstances of present-day reality.
A vision statement paints a vivid picture of the future in the minds of all internal and external stakeholders. Within the company, it inspires each employee’s imagination about the future and serves as a touchstone for planning and decision-making.
Make a mindful choice about where you identify – managing tasks or leading the company into the future with a vision. What ever you choose, make sure it aligns with what the business needs from the person in your position.