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Leadership vs Management

September 11, 2018

Cal Turner Jr., CEO of Dollar General, was on the A16Z podcast this week. In a wonderful moment, Cal reflected on a lesson he took from his grandfather on the difference between leadership and management. Only achieving a third-grade education before he was forced to get a job to support his family, his grandfather was “a great observer and student for the rest of his life.”

He would add:

[Being a great observer and student] is the makings of a good leader. That assumption that you should learn from others, because everyone had something to teach him. Only a manager says, ‘I should teach everybody something.’ A real leader wants to learn, ask different questions, grow, and develop.

I love the simplicity of the juxtaposition. Leaders have questions. Managers have answers.


Stephen Weiss

Written by Stephen Weiss who lives in Chicago with his wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Follow him on Twitter!