Great write up today at Small Business Trends on finding that unique balance between leadership and management. First off, what’s the difference?

Leadership and management is a sensitive balancing act. While it’s important not to lose sight of day-to-day operations, you don’t want get too caught up in the weeds and lose sight of your goals.

Basically the difference is summarized in that oft-quoted saying: don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. What does that mean? Sometimes you can get so caught up in an individual tree that you forget you are still stuck in a forest.

So, likewise…leadership and management. Leadership is the forest; the overall goal and vision of the company. Management is the tree, the day to day business and goings on of that company. Both are important, and both are necessary.

But one must trump the other. So which is it? Well, it’s leadership of course. That needs to take the drivers seat because it is only by leadership that the business, your business, will be directed. Your leadership gives a goal to the business and it keeps it in mind. Your management in many ways gets you through the day, and at the end of that said day you need to look at how your management got you one step closer to your leadership goal.

Do you see, then, what you are doing? Your management serves your leadership. Your leadership gives direction to your management. Ultimately speaking, your leadership must take precedence over your management. In other words, let your management serve and aid your leadership so you never lose sight of your ultimate goal.