Leading vs. Managing – Finding Balance in Your Approach

Which is more important: leading or managing?


How do you define the difference between leadership and management? Naturally, some of the qualities overlap. But as speaker and author Craig Groeschel explains, when running a team or an organization, it can be tempting to manage without actually leading. Yes, effective management is essential for the success of an organization, and Craig agrees that it takes talent and skills to do so; he adds that it also takes courage and bravery to lead. Organizations need both sets of characteristics to truly thrive. Understanding the difference between the two can help set your organization apart.

Second temptation in good times is managing without leading. Managing without leading. The solution is to continue to lead and manage. The temptation is management without leadership. The solution is to lead and manage. This is so true. Great management is essential for every organization.

What does management do? It creates systems, accountability, stability and strength. There is no such thing as great leadership without great management because great leaders bring the right people in and help build the right systems. You cannot have great leadership without great management.

Great leadership produces and insists upon great management. You can have management without great leadership and in good times the temptation is to slip into full on management mode without leadership and you will quickly lose good times if you do so.

What's the difference between management and leadership? And I hope I've made it clear that management is very, very important but you need them both. In good times it's tempting just to slip into management not leadership. What's the difference? There are many differences let me just give you three quick ones.

Managers must focus on the present. There are those of you, that's what you're called to do, that's what's important for you to do, you must focus on the present. Leaders, we have to be future focused. If all we are doing is thinking about today, then over time the organization is going to suffer. Managers manage risk. Leaders lead to the right risks. This is really important. Every great organization is built on risk-takers. You take the right risks. Every organization. If you want to go big, anything you do you've got to take risks. Then once you start having something significant, it's the natural thing to do to not put the organization at risk! Now, we've actually got something to lose. The very thing that made you great is one of the first things you abandon and you stop taking risks.

Third thing is this. Managers ask how and when, okay? "How much? When are we going to do this? How are we going to get it done?" How and when. Leaders ask, what and why. "What are we supposed to do? What's coming next? What are the trends? Why are we doing what we are doing? Why are we not doing what we are doing?" Both are important.

Craig Groeschel

As the Senior Pastor of LifeChurch.tv, Craig provides leadership and guidance for the church as a whole. Following a vision God gave him for a different kind of church, he and a handful of people launched LifeChurch.tv in 1996.


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