12 Dec Leadership, Management, and the Difference Between Them
What distinguishes a leader from a manager? This is a theme that Criterion CEO Promod Sharma has been addressing throughout 2019 among senior executives, managers, and employees. It was also at the heart of Criterion’s annual project manager training session in December, which brought together a group of 35 managers to delve into the demands of leadership in a variety of arenas, including branding and social media, recruiting, writing, HR, and finance. Attendees also worked on a series of scenarios on managing change, conflict, and growth.
Promod kicked off the day by sharing how he views the difference between leadership and management, inspired by authors of leadership books and his recent experiences at the EY Strategic Growth Forum, which he attended as a 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year in the Mid-Atlantic Region. He stated, “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Leaders are people who do right things. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. Managers are people who do things right.” While both are needed for companies to be successful, he challenged the group – who are already excellent managers – to step up into leadership.
Standing in Your Values
At the core of true leadership is an adherence to values: both personal and corporate. We invited Samantha Hale, CGI Federal’s Learning and Development Business Partner, to be our keynote speaker on exactly this issue. She opened with a definition of corporate values and asked a provocative question: “So what?” She followed this question with a quote from Theodore Roosevelt [emphasis hers]:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
She challenged everyone to enter the arena instead of staying in a seat (from which it is impossible to lead). Values are lived and leadership is spending oneself in a worthy cause. Leaders do not distinguish between personal and corporate values: they must be in accordance. Leaders must stand in their values.
Samantha then asked Promod to, literally, do just that (see photo below). Promod identified his top two personal values and she traced his feet, then wrote those values in the footprints, surrounded by Criterion’s corporate values. The entire group then identified each of their own values, some of them sharing with the group at large. Overall, this was a valuable exercise in approaching leadership as a whole person, vs an at-work persona.
The full day was rich in content and takeaways. After that hard work, everyone relaxed at a fun happy hour, full of conversation and laughter. See our gallery of photos below.