The difference between a Manager and Leader (Christian Version)

Read Time: 2 minutes

Managers ask “What is measurable?” Leaders ask “What is meaningful?” Christ is asking both.

I’m not a big fan of titles. Or anything you can hide behind, for that matter. Which brings me to a conversation I had about the difference between management and leadership.

I have a friend who is a great manager. He also happens to be a good leader. But you can definitely have one without the other. You can kick your car keys down the road if you want to.

Most of us fall into one of two camps. Those that delegate and those that dream. You need both in every team. Delegation without a destination is pointless. People will ask “What am I working towards?” A dream without a playbook is a nightmare. Teams want a vision with a map.

So, we need both. Check.

But how do we grow in both? How do we take initiative past the point of title – regardless of the role we have?

We ask ourselves the two M’s (I ask them to myself every day.)

They are:

  1. What is Measurable?
  2. What is Meaningful?

Let’s start with Measurable. Everything you do should have an outcome. Start with a deliverable. The package in the mail. What will it be and how it will it get there? Work backward to move forward.

Michael Hyatt has a solid approach – if you’re interested. But you can do it with anything. The best managers do it with everything.

And now, Meaningful. What is the existential element you’re working towards? The thing you’d bring up at chili-cookoff “just because.” If you don’t have a “why,” make one. If people work for you, be sure to give them one too.

The Christian life calls us to ask both questions.

Let’s take a look at what James, Brother of Jesus, had to say.

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.

James 2:14-18

James had a good sense of what stewardship meant. For him, the cross and cause go hand-in-hand. It’s true for us also. We cannot separate what we do from where we’re going. So we live love-centric. We don’t profit without it, as you know.

Sure, you can be a good manager. You could also be a good leader. With a little accountability, you can be both. The benefit, to you, is greater awareness for where you and your team are going.

Take a few minutes at the beginning of every day to ask the Holy Spirit what the meaningful and measurable should be for you and your team. You’ll see more fruit (functional faith) and enjoy the refreshing jolt of vision you get for the mundane parts of life.

Pierce Brantley
Pierce Brantley is an author, speaker and lover of Jesus. He's married to his wife Kristie and lives in Dallas, TX. He writes on biblical studies, Christian worldviews and principles of godly living for men.

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