Coaching vs. Managing

Coaching vs. Managing

Leaders, Managers, and Coaches: Trade your carrot and stick for a whistle!

Okay, listen up all you managers…this one is for you! How many of you feel like you are babysitting more than managing? How many of you feel like you are giving your sales people all of the tools and resources to help them be successful, yet their results are still lacking? Might not be true for all your sales people, but does this ring true for your bottom half? Keep reading to discover a well-kept management secret.

Being a manager means there are times when you lead, times when you manage and times when you coach. The skill set required for being good at each category is varied; there is a big difference between leading, managing and coaching. Good managers are adept at wearing all three hats. Great managers know when to wear which hat. Knowing when to put on which hat is the key. Here are a few tips to help you out:


Leaders are big picture people. They are great at creating and communicating a vision that drives and motivates others. They are out front, with the carrot, encouraging others to follow. They can pull people along towards a mission, they can be motivating and are great at encouraging others on a broad scale. But leaders can’t often be bothered with the details of execution or implementation. They are the big picture people. They have other fish to fry.


Look manage up in the dictionary, and you’ll see that to manage is to regulate or administer. Or to “exert control over”…that’s a good one! Often in organizations you’ll find the manager behind the staff, and frequently the manager is the one wielding a stick. Managers push the team while maintaining the company standards of excellence. They are process people.


If leaders are in front of the group, and managers are behind the group, you’ll most often find coaches alongside the group. They wield neither carrot nor stick. They neither push nor pull. Their weapon of choice…a whistle! Their guiding principle is to align the employee’s goals with the company goals. To align the employee’s talents with the job expectations. Identifying where there are gaps, if any, and then COACHING to the needs in order to bridge the gap. A coach’s greatest reward is seeing their employees reach the next level.

Each of these roles has its rightful place in every organization, but the one missing in most organization’s org chart is the COACH! Who is helping your team to get to the next level? Who is coaching your sales staff on their sales process and helping them to bring in more revenue month over month? Who is working with your customer service group to make sure that you’re not leaving business on the table? Many companies can increase revenue (and profit) by some simple tweaks to their employee’s every day routines. Despite having and communicating a vision, a Leader cannot help someone to just see that this needs to be done. It’s like bringing a horse to water. A Manager cannot just hold them accountable to doing those activities. Unless they are done effectively, activities don’t always translate into success.

A COACH is the cheerleader when being encouraged is important, but the gentle voice of reason when someone is falling short. A COACH can help connect an organization’s vision to the employee’s individual goals, tying together what is often times not realized the further down the corporate ladder you go. A COACH clearly has the employee’s interest at heart, and the employee can feel it to the tips of their toes. Need a coach? Give us a call…we’ll bring our whistle!

Grow Big or Go Home!