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Can you be a leader and a manager?

Tomorrow I am attending a session sponsored by PRSSA-NCC on moving from PR Manager to PR Leader. I thought it would be interesting to provide my pre-workshop thoughts….

Management vs. leadership–it’s a distinction we all hear over and over these days. They are not the same, but must go hand in hand for a group to succeed. The question is can you do both?

Management focuses on getting work done on time, on budget, and on target. Management is in other words execution, while leadership focuses on change and innovation.

A few years ago management actually included leadership–along with motivating, planning. communicating, organizing– as one  of the many functions necessary to make groups of people productive.

One could argue that in the agency world you go through stages of being both a manager and a leader.

You can akin a manager to a very strong Senior Account Executive who works with the team to stay on track and deliver on the plan outlined. They are often asked for input and in some cases have the opportunity to develop the plan themselves.

As you move into the Account Supervisor role, you are still executing but at this point have given much of the tracking to more junior level staff and are heading toward the designing stage, the innovation. With the innovation and strategic vision becoming more important as you continue to move up.

Of course, in agency world EVERYONE is responsible for delivering the goods and doing it on time and within the budget. At some point everyone is still the manager. It really comes down to HOW you manage that determines whether you are a leader.

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