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Two Sides / Same Coin

Let me start by saying I sincerely believe it is imperative that we have great leaders in business and in many aspects of life. That being said …

So I guess you are wondering what the catalyst was that inspired me to write this article. I saw a post that showed a leader and a manager. The leader was helping someone with their hand reached out and the manager was holding the employee’s arm and beating him into the floor. The caption said the difference between a manager and a leader. As a manager of a store, I was blown away to be placed into a secondary and apparently diminished role.

I can say with absolute certainty that I lead my staff and they are trained and developed. They work in an environment of engagement and are part of a very collaborative team. They are trained to be a manager and a leader and given the tools to get there. I can say many team members that have worked with me have gone on to be very successful managers and leaders. They too give back to the community and help others to attain success. With absolute certainty, I can say that many managers are leaders and we do not beat people down we lift them up. Are there bad managers? Absolutely, and there are bad leaders, as well. My team does not really use the word leader or manager that much. We are just people that think it is important to give back to the communities we work and live in. We are just people that care about the people that work with us and feel it is important to lift them up and help others succeed in life.

It is truly amazing how many articles are out there on leadership. There are many books written on leadership with titles like The Top Ten Things a Leader Does, The Top Ten Things a Leader Thinks, the Top Ten Attributes of a Leader, The Top Ten Things a Leader Never Does, and the lists go on and on. They appear to be limitless.

I also need to ask is it critical to be a leader? It seems possible that maybe you don’t need to be a leader to make a difference. It seems reasonable that one could be a mentor to people and guide them and advise them. You can help develop their skill sets, share wisdom and knowledge. You can be a teacher and based on the journey of your life you can teach the things they can use to be successful.

Another path you can take is to be an influencer. In life and work, you can influence behaviors, share your knowledge and give directions to people that can open doors and provide opportunities for them. Some of us are not prone to follow and don’t really feel being a leader provides us with the best opportunity to give back and help others. You don’t have to be a leader to be successful.

Do we need leaders? Absolutely! The world would be a different place and maybe not as amazing without leaders. For me, being a mentor, an influencer, a facilitator, and often just a friend has worked well. If we can help people and make a difference in their lives and open doors, it may change the outcome of their life.

In Martial Arts, we were taught to take a group of people and train them to attain certain skill levels and to improve the physical and mental disciplines. I am sure that this influenced my direction to be the one that works behind the scenes to teach and to influence. I think it is possible to influence the one and the many without claiming a title like a manager or leader. So do you have to be a leader to be successful in life? We all have a role in life and the choice is truly up to you as to who and what you will be. If you are a leader you will know it and embrace the role. If you prefer to quietly influence and mentor to make a difference you will also know it and embrace the role. Both are important and the world needs both. I think life creates leaders. People, when faced with dire events, will step up and find the thing inside them that will overcome adversity and may even move them to be a leader. They may even take others with them on the journey. In all sincerity, we need that person to be a leader but maybe just maybe that person may need someone to guide them.

Point of View: Both leaders and managers are very important in life. Two sides of one coin. Great leaders will need to have management skills and great managers will need to have leadership skills. One does not diminish the other. Sometimes we choose the path we walk in life, sometimes the path will choose us. So perhaps there are those that people will follow and respect. They will seek them out for the journey they can take them on. Perhaps there are those that choose to work quietly without the roar of the crowds, yet are able to make a change, get things done and not only be successful and help others attain their goals. Both are essential to life’s journey and both add value. Two sides of the same coin.

Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

17 COMMENTS

  1. In the current organizational context, the manager is called to respond, in his role, to several priorities: on the one hand should be able to express his own technical skills of the role he plays, on the other must express managerial skills that are based on a list consisting of soft skills among which the management and, better yet, the development of its employees. In respect of the latter, he is required to be inspiring, to drive towards change, to make them grow (operationally and managerially), to motivate them, make them feel the team, to engage them, just to mention some examples. Therefore, the challenge facing managers is to live its organizational role in terms of leadership.

  2. An argument this, which always fascinates scholars and researchers and is complicated when we look at how evolving business organization. Yes, because, in my opinion, in spite of differences in details there are, I have always thought that, rather, elements such as clarity and transparency, empowerment and autonomy of individuals, trusts and good example, sharing and proximity to the team, not an exasperated control, encouragement and listening, and the like, they were all useful to make work more slender, more appreciated, more productive. For this reason, a more “significant” relation, in the broadest sense, between managers / leaders / staff, should be essential. So, management and leadership, though distinct concepts, are two closely related phenomena among themselves and only their right balance can pave the way for companies to achieve sustainable growth and a competitive advantage in the long run.

  3. Leadership and Management are different in their definitions, in their conceptual terms, in the functions they involve, and in the behaviors that leaders and managers adopt in covering their respective roles. But, especially in a world characterized by speedy times and decision speed, leadership and management overlap and complement each other, between individuals and organizations. A total dependency on leadership or management can not reach the goals of the organization, nor can it result in effective working groups. Therefore, organizations need leaders with managerial skills and leadership qualities. An adequate mix of leader-managers can pave the way for organizations to achieve sustainable growth and a competitive long-term advantage. Therefore, it will also be necessary for the leadership development programs to aim at producing better managerial skills for leaders and managers for better leadership skills by focusing on how such human resource development programs can integrate leadership and manager training, without confusing each other but making an appropriate and useful mix.

  4. In statistical modeling, you can use the idea of coin flips to model probabilities. In doing so, what you come out with is easier to automate, easier to convey, and must faster to number crunch.

    When teaching our workshops on stats I keep talking about coins — but I also can’t help it to talk about there is the Batman on one side of the coin and the Joker on the other.

  5. I like your simplistic approach to the equation, Larry! You are absolutely right about weaving the roles together like the warp and weft of textile. Separating them to limit one’s performance can only have negative consequence, if anything!
    Thank You!

  6. Awesome points. Totally agree.

    I advocate a leader builds organizations to support people while managers use people to support organizations. There is a point between them where they intersect. That is the area we should all understand.

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