AC4P with Dr. Scott Geller 016 | Leadership vs. Management Part 1

Are you a leader or are you a manager? These terms are often used interchangeably, but do they actually mean the same thing? Dr. Scott Geller will go into the different behaviors of both leaders and mentors and how you can reflect on your behaviors.

So we ask again, are you a leader or a manager? Which one would you like to be? How can you make changes?


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Dr. Scott Geller (00:22):
So let's talk about leadership and management. Two terms are used interchangeably. Are you a leader? Are you a manager? They're different. We're going to talk today about the difference between management and leadership. Now in the academic world, they have a term called transactional leadership and transformational leadership, essentially transformational leadership, as I define it as leadership, transactional leadership is management. And I'd also like to add that I believe we manage behavior and we lead people. Let me explain what I'm saying. And, by the way, we need managers. I need managers, nothing wrong with being a manager and leaders, we need leaders too. So let's get that point across that that managers hold us accountable. Managers manage our behavior. For consequences, it's very related to applied behavioral science. Okay? Now leaders inspire us to go beyond to do more than we have to. So when we talk about leadership, we're talking about inspirational.

Dr. Scott Geller (01:43):
We're talking about going beyond the call of duty. We're talking about empowerment terms that we talked about earlier. We were talking about self-motivation. Leaders, inspire people to be self-motivated. And in my earlier podcast, we talk about self-motivation. We talked about the three C words of self-motivation choice, competence, and community. So what leaders do is they give individuals the perception of choice. They don't say you have to do this, you get to do this. Okay. We give them some element of choice in the task. We assign them and then we convinced them, or we give them supportive feedback, to let them know that they're competent. And the third word is community. We're all in this together. We're interdependent. So that's what leadership is about. We need managers in our life, also. I mean, managers hold us accountable. They set a schedule for, and they tell us, this is what you need to do. And this is your assignment and so forth. So we need management and we need leadership. So there's the basic difference as I see it between managing behavior and leading people.

Shauna Costello (03:16):
And my one question that probably pops up or that you hear from this is can leaders be managers and can managers be leaders?

Dr. Scott Geller (03:30):
Oh, that's a great question. And I would say, yes. Yes, for example, let's talk about teachers. For example, some teachers manage a classroom, they manage a classroom, they have grades, they score tests, they assign assignments. That's managing that behavior in the classroom, but they can also be leaders in the classroom when they develop a relationship with the students when they alter their teaching depending upon who's in the class or what student they are talking to that is showing empathy. So indeed, and by the way, teachers can also inspire students beyond grades. They can inspire students to learn the material, not for the grade, but for the process of learning. So certainly a teacher, sometimes they manage and sometimes they lead and I think the most effective teachers, the most effective supervisors, the most effective CEOs do both. And by the way, the third word is followership. That is leaders and managers know when to step back and follow. In fact, one of my faculty members here at Virginia tech is studying followership. When do you follow? And when do you lead? So again, I think leaders know that sometimes you step back and you let the other person take charge. And that of course inspires the other person to do more. And that results in more self-motivation. So that followership results in leadership.

Shauna Costello (05:20):
I know you talked about the big differences between leadership and management, but I know that when I was reading some of your, our listeners probably don't know, but you sent me a reading to do on this before we talked. And in this, you talk about what individuals should be focusing on if they want to be a leader as well. And from our talks, I've told you that when I was reading through this, I thought of my own personal experiences with the management versus leadership role and how it's evolved over time and feedback to myself. But what are some of the, what are some of these behaviors that leaders focus on that really sets them apart from just managing and being in that management role?

Dr. Scott Geller (06:23):
Let's talk about an example. We have a supervisor, we have a job to get done. A supervisor, as a manager would come to the work team and say, we got a problem out there, folks. This is what we need to do. If you go to the Blackboard or you go to the website or you go to the whiteboard and he lists all the things that the team needs to do, that is very efficient. That gets the job done, go do this. Now that's management, you know, specifying the job, setting the goals. Now as a leader, it takes more time with the leader supervisor, as a leader would come in and say, folks, we have a problem out there. This is the problem. And then how should we fix it? That is asked the work team to come up with ideas for fixing the issue. And so now we're having them come forth and guess what? We might result in the same plan that the supervisor as a manager came up with. But the supervisor as a leader, got his work team to come up with those items. What do we have now? Now we have a sense of choice among the team. They help to choose the work plan. It took longer and it's not as efficient, but it's more effective. Now we have a team that feels more inspired because the supervisor played the role of manager.

Shauna Costello (08:03):
I know that this is something that I've personally come into contact with, where there were some environmental factors going on that affected my ability to be a leader versus just a manager. And how would you suggest, is there anything that you would suggest to making the environment around you more effective to start facilitating some of these leader behaviors?

Dr. Scott Geller (08:39):
Well, absolutely. You know what? The environment is, the demands are strong and we have to get this job done. And there's also a dispositional path. For me are you a type-a, type-a folks we got to get the job. We got to go, go, go and get it in. Sometimes us high Bay, the disposition to getting the job done. We come across as getting the job done as managers. And we don't take the time to solicit opinions and reactions from the folks we're working with. So, not to talk about a personality disposition, but the environment can also be the same. The CEO is coming on strong. Just I got off the telephone with the CEO telling me this has to be done. We need this right now, make it happen, Geller. And so I go to my group and I say, here's what we have to do. And I list all the things. I don't have time to be empathic. I don't have time to promote. Self-motivation promotes a perception of choice, competence, and community with my team. And indeed, they might get the job done, but they won't necessarily be inspired to be self-motivated.

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