Are You a Doer or Leader?

No doubt, the demands are many and the pressures can be daunting for those in leadership positions.  More often than not, leaders are in their roles because they had success earlier in their careers.  They excelled, performed, and delivered as the absolute best doers of jobs, tasks, and projects.

Executives, recruiters, and/or hiring leaders noticed, and invited them to take on more responsibility.  Though it takes the same levels of energy, enthusiasm, and passion to become a successful leader, the dynamic is slightly different. 

Since leaders are so used to delivering, excelling, and being the doers who “get things done”, the temptation is to jump in and “do”

Do too much.

Do the jobs of those on their team.

Do tasks which perhaps could or should be delegated.

While everyone, including leaders, must contribute, specific contributions are quite different depending on everyone’s role in the show.

Simply put, leaders must lead, while those on the team must execute (do…)

The temptation, particularly for newer leaders, is to jump into operational processes in an effort to control every element of the execution.  They’re so used to “being the one”; the talented, dynamic one who always steps up, gets it done, and delivers.  After all, that’s what got them the promotion in the first place.

It comes from a good place, but in many ways, this is often the single-biggest mistake newer leaders make.  If and when the leader of the team becomes part of the process, engulfed into the operation, then who’s observing, coaching, and leading the processes? 


It’s okay to jump in and help, but leaders who master the art of influencing and inspiring without having to control, lead their teams to consistent success. 

This is the shift from being the “doer” to becoming the “leader”. 

Far too often, leaders at all levels of organizations try to control and “do” it all for their teams.  In doing so, they become part of the problem as opposed to the solution.  They get in the way of their team’s mojo, flow, and continuity.  Leaders are so used to being such great “doers”, they forget what their teams really need is a great leader.

Every leader should ask him or herself:

Am I in the way, or am I paving the way?

Doers execute a game plan with consistency, passion, and commitment.

Leaders collaborate, create, communicate, and inspire the game plan’s execution. 

That’s the difference and often a simple step in growing from doer to leader.

Pave the way for your teams.

  • Accept people for who they are and capitalize on the strengths they bring to the table
  • Encourage positivity, collaboration, and a culture of compassion
  • Inspire innovation and creativity, welcoming new ideas from anyone, anywhere
  • Advocate for your people, knocking down barriers to their success and growth
  • Recognize them for their unique and special talents

One for the road…

Speaking of “doing”

A leader’s ultimate purpose is to take a group of people, turn them into a high performing team, and inspire them to go do fill-in-the-blank thing.  It’s less about what the leader him or herself can do, but all about what he or she can lead others to go do. 

A thought for the road — before people become inspired to “do” anything, they must first feel something. 

Think about your own life.  I’d be willing to bet, all the times when you “did” the most, worked the hardest, unleashed your heartfelt passion, and genuinely crushed it, were likely the times when your leader made you feel welcome, comfortable, and important.

That’s the power of leading with hospitality. 

Make them feel welcome, comfortable, and important, and watch them do things you nor they thought possible. That’s when you’ll go from doing to leading.

In fact, you’ll be leading with hospitality.

Have a great day.