Are You Managing or Leading?

By: Sarah Robinson, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, Best-Selling Author, President of FRESH Concepts, Inc.

I bet you’ve noticed that things have changed significantly at work over the last 24 months.

Have your leadership skills kept up with the times? Not sure? That would be a very reasonable answer. It is easy to live in our own work bubble and keep on doing what we do – without changing with the times. Below are a few examples that can help you assess if you are still doing things the “old way” or if you’ve shifted your mindset and actions to doing things the “new way.”

Before you review these examples and decide which choice best describes you, your thoughts, and your actions, I want to make a few things clear. First, I expect you to be 100% honest with yourself. Secondly, I also want you to give yourself some grace.

The last 24 months have been extremely challenging for everyone . . . especially those who lead people. For most leaders (or ANY that I know of), there was no playbook or corporate manual explaining how to deftly shift from supervising an in-the-office-5-days-a-week-team to virtually supporting a virtual team . . . or any other significant changes that wreaked havoc on our normal work habits.

The examples below are not intended to blame or shame anyone. Instead, they are meant to shine a bright light on the critical people skills that are needed in today’s workplace. I’m confident that shifting from the “old way” to the “new way” will have a profound and a positive impact on your work life. Why? Because, after working in the field of organizational behavior for 30 years and teaching an organization behavior college class for 17 years, I know these skills can transform you and your team.



Shifting from managing people to leading them is not a quick process, but it is a rewarding one. The first step of this shift is related to how the manager thinks of his/herself. Once the far-reaching benefits of being a people leader are understood and embraced, the skills that transform managers into people leaders can be rolled out. And here’s the good news: all of these skills can be learned.

Good luck on your journey!

Sarah Robinson is the owner of FRESH Leadership, Inc. Sarah is the author of “FRESH Leadership: 5 Skills to Transform You and Your Team” and “Unstuck at Last Using Your Strengths to Get What You Want.” Sarah was among the first seven people worldwide to become a Gallup Certified Coach in 2013. FRESH Concepts, Inc. works alongside organizations to increase employee engagement, create high performing teams, and revitalize leadership training programs.

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