How To Ensure You’re Leading and Not Just Managing.

How To Ensure You’re Leading and Not Just Managing. - Leadership Dynamics

Have you ever watched a bunch of kids playing?  Look at the dynamics of the group.  Invariably, there will always be the ‘Ringleader’ – the one who dreams up the next game to play and sells their idea to the rest of the pack. This kid then divvies out the roles/who’s playing what part and what they need to do and spurs everyone on. And more often than not, this little leader is often inspired by their hero from their favourite movie or storybook. Once the roles and mission are assigned, the kids who are more capable in the group then often help their friends who aren’t as agile/capable to, for example, climb a tree and invade enemy headquarters, to complete their mission and to get the job assigned by the leader done (aka the managers).  The same dynamics apply in organisations and on the sporting field.  There is a huge difference between leading and managing.

Do you want to lead or do you want to manage?  

There is a massive difference between leading people and managing people.  In Corporate Australia, 95% of the Business Owners, CEO’s and Senior Management who have major responsibility within the Organisational Structure, when I begin my Leadership Process, see themselves as Managers and not Leaders. They are people within an organisation who have people under their responsibility which means they need to be leading people, not managing.  This requires Leadership not just Management and there is a big, big difference.

All the successful people that I have had the opportunity to lead have influence and that is what ultimately results in them leading successfully, instead of only managing. As a leader if you don’t have influence, you will not have the credibility to earn trust so that people will follow you.

You gain influence by not only being great at what you do but you also cast vision, inspire others and have large amounts of honesty, respect and accountability to those around you.

The more influence you have, the more successful you will become in leadership because when you look behind you, it will reveal how many people are actually following you.

In Professional Sport where I have had the privilege to work with elite coaches and players in various codes, leadership is gained through success and it is lost through failure in these results driven industries.  It’s the same for Corporate life.

You have to make a decision: Do you want to lead or do you want to manage?

Where are you leading?

Where are you managing?

 Where do you need to create success to increase your influence?

Developing a winning team culture is the responsibility of a leader. To develop a winning team culture, you start with the heart and spirit of individuals on that team so that trust can be earned.  As a leader, you need to breathe into your team and inspire them and develop a culture of accountability and respect, honesty and transparency.

It takes a willing heart to want to lead because leadership is a great responsibility.

Your heart and spirit will drive your motivation and look for opportunities to keep leading no matter what the circumstances are in that present moment.  Effective leaders don’t make excuses.

How do you ensure effectiveness and success as a leader?

Are you continually looking for opportunities to keep leading?


Your effectiveness as a leader will be determined by who leads you.  When you are led by a leader that has influence and high expectations with big credibility, your quality of leadership will duplicate as a result of you allowing yourself to be led.

Who leads you?

For 22 years I was led by a “Born Leader” and the more I allowed myself to be led by Jim, the more effective I became as a leader.  It moved me from Management to Effective Leadership because I became a great follower.

Leadership is a calling. Not every person on planet earth will assume the responsibility of Leadership. The strength of a Leaders influence will be determined by the heart and spirit of that leader to want to serve under and be led by a better and larger leader than themselves. This leads to empowerment because it comes from the heart and spirit.  The heart and spirit drives everything.

Since January 2014, I’ve had the honour and privilege to serve under the leadership of NRL Head Coach Michael Maguire at South Sydney.  Previous to this opportunity, I had 7 years serving under the leadership of Des Hasler at Manly Sea Eagles and most recently commencing January 2015, I have been serving under the leadership of the Australian Women’s Football Coach, Alen Stajcic. I have learnt many things and a great deal of wisdom from these leaders – their heart and spirit for their teams to succeed is immense and the manner in which they cast vision and lead their teams constantly drives my heart and spirit, to push me to go further, to lead more effectively.

My leadership responsibility within these teams is to build the leadership potential of the players as well as stimulating and agitating the leadership growth of the Head Coaches in many areas of their responsibilities.  I see it as my responsibility to be the most effective leader I can be for them so that they can achieve their dream and vision of winning in a very results driven business week in, week out.  Their careers are extremely vulnerable due to the high expectations of winning, and that losing is viewed upon by the Owners, Boards and the thousands of fans, as unacceptable.

High-level Leadership understands the principle of serving and not being served.  As the leader, you serve those you lead, not the other way around. You must serve your team with an authentic spirit of servant-hood otherwise you won’t have the desired impact on your team.

What can you do better to serve the leader that leads you?

What can you do better to serve the team you lead?

Wisdom is No.1 when it comes to leadership.

Who gives you wisdom to lead more effectively?

If you want to increase your wisdom, it’s about realising you don’t have all the answers and if you truthfully recognise this, you will seek it.  The greater the wisdom, the less the effort and the more effective the results will be.

What wisdom do you need to seek?  

Do you seek it from a more effective leader than yourself?

The successful leaders  I know always have independent, third party advice, which takes them from Management to Leadership because it gets them “on” and not “in” the business and it makes a huge difference. They allow someone to speak into their life and stimulate and agitate them when it comes to their leadership responsibilities.  Being led independently increases the effectiveness of this process because there are no hidden agendas or emotional ties.  At times, all leaders can get too close to their vision and too close to their people which can cloud their decision making.

For you to grow in Leadership to ensure that you are always leading and not managing you need:

1.             To be Led

2.             Influence

3.            Success

4.             Heart & Spirit

5.             To Serve

6.             Wisdom

7.             To be “On” the Business

Are you leading or are you managing?

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