Dallas Speakers Bureau – Management Speaker, Tim Durkin on 4 Tests to Determine if You are Leading or Managing

Dallas Texas Speakers Bureau presenter, Tim Durkin, discusses 4 Tests to Determine if You are Leading or Managing.

One of the most costly mistakes senior management can make during challenging times is to over-manage and under-lead. Over the years I have been asked many times to describe the difference between leading and managing. Describing the difference wasn’t enough. I felt it was important to come up with a description of the difference in a way that would provide crystal clarity about which discipline — leading or managing — the person was employing at any point in time. More important than knowing the difference is knowing how to balance both.

Here are four guidelines.

1. Managers provide heat. Leaders provide light. If the typical reader of this publication were asked what industry or business they are in, chances are the response would be “healthcare.” That’s not entirely accurate. Senior managers in any industry are in the energy management business. The primary job is to manage the energy of themselves and others. High school physics taught us that the classic definition of work is energy applied to a task.

When meeting with a person or a group, ask yourself if the people you are meeting with are feeling light or heat. Then ask, was that your intention? The default for many managers is heat. A full-time atmosphere of heat withers and sears. It burns. Nobody elected a person to higher office based on their ability to manage. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would never have said “I have a strategic plan!” But let’s not kid ourselves and pretend that we are tripping down a daisy-strewn path of illumination all of the time. Certain people and certain times require us to move that halogen bulb of ours close enough to singe arm hairs.

Striking an appropriate balance between when to lead and when to manage is the art of energy management.

2. Managers make sure things are done right. Leaders make sure the right things are done. Managers inspect. Leaders expect. When managing we must be keenly aware of and operate in the present at the same time the leader in us keeps the future in mind at all times. 

3. Managers make money. Leaders make meaning. There is no need to apologize for making money. Profit to a business is like breath to a body. However, it is good to remember that most of the people who work in healthcare, even those in non-clinical positions, got into the work because of a desire to help people. It’s essential in the whitewater of healthcare to remind people of the meaning of their work. People who forget the raison d’être of their work can easily become energy vampires.

4. Someone appoints a person to be a group’s manager. But only that group will decide is that person is their leader. Management is an appointed job. Leadership is an anointed one. One is given, one is earned. There is no shortcut to becoming a group’s leader. Unfortunately, the leadership mantle is a hard win, but can be lost in an instant. The management battlefields are littered with the corpses of appointed managers who were un-anointed leaders. The previous four litmus tests of leadership can help guide the daily intentions and actions of today’s healthcare executive. Spending a few minutes everyday reviewing the amount of energy spent in each of the four areas can be time well invested.

Tim DurkinAbout Tim Durkin

Tim Durkin, a Dallas managment speaker represented by the Dallas Texas Speakers Bureau, has been recognized for his professionalism on a national and international scale. His passion for helping the healthcare industry comes from his experience as a patient. He seeks to help those on both sides of the spectrum by teaching managers how to better interact with their staff and patients. Tim’s unique presentations teach audiences how to be a leader in and out of the office.

He recognizes the administrative challenges that come with the healthcare industry and helps those involved recognize that interacting with people is the largest component. His passion for helping people translates into his lively and humorous speeches that engage audiences.