“You manage things; you lead people.” – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper
I can remember the first time I heard this quote. I had already been a manager for a few years and was going from managing a retail team and into a technical space. In order to make the transition when I had no IT background I left management to learn IT; while staying at the same company.
The director of our department mentioned this quote during one of our regular team meetings and it stuck with me. So much so, that I asked him about it later that day to get his thoughts on it. This was back in late 1997. I am glad I asked because he did listen and then give me his thoughts. Who knew then that that same person would become one of my biggest mentors?
Ever since then, I have focused on distinguishing the difference between managing and leading. I still have so much I know I can learn. However, I do believe you can make a clear distinction by managing things; or in my mind tasks or assignments. When you interact with people, it is more about leading than mandating.
What do you think?
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July with friends and family and took the time to celebrate. I took the week off to celebrate my first anniversary; July 1st, the 4th of July holiday, and most importantly, my son was in town with me for a couple of weeks this summer. Spending time with him was good for my soul.