This week I was on a campus that I work with on a regular basis and I observed an excellent practical example of the difference between managing and leading. This campus is divided into 4 semi-autonomous schools within a school. The schools compete against each other in an attempt to keep everyone motivated to do their best. Over time, Team A has consistently outperformed the other three. Team B tries to keep it interesting and Teams C and D just seem to be coasting until the end of the year. At this school, during breakfast the practice is for teachers to stay with their students and use the time to get their team ready for the day.

Here is the ton of bricks example. The Team A staff had their students in their classrooms eating breakfast and discussing what they needed to do to be successful that day. Team B was doing the same thing, just a little slower and a little more ragged. Teams C and D had combined both teams in the cafeteria. The students were eating quietly, the teachers were talking among themselves, one team leader was running around trying to do get everything done without infringing on the teachers and the other team leader was nowhere to be seen.

Teams C and D have figured out how to manage the students and reduce the workload of the adults.

Teams A and B have figured out that to be successful and compete that the adults have stay involved and hands on.

Teams C and D are stuck in management mode. Team B is in the “fake it until you make it” stage of becoming effective leaders. And Team A is experiencing first hand how leading trumps managing.

Come on, Teams C and D trust your training and step up.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn…