Lead, Don’t Manage

12 Lessons in Creating a Leadership Culture Based on Core Values

There’s a disconnect in many organizations today around the meaning of management and leadership. Management is often viewed as being synonymous with leadership, and while every manager would want to be seen as a good leader, not everyone in management focuses on understanding what effective leadership entails. But in Lead, Don’t Manage, I take you through the keys to cultivating successful and effective leaders at every level of an organization.

From individual contributors to the C-Suite, my book explains the value of true leadership and how to establish it among a workforce. Unlike many business books, there are no mind tricks here, no claims of newly revealed secrets. Grounded and accessible, Lead, Don’t Manage provides a straightforward application of proven techniques that will help employees of all levels grasp the impact they can have on their organization and stretch to reach their potential.

Some leadership books focus on performance metrics, but great leaders don’t focus on numbers — they focus on their team members. My book covers the most important leadership skills you’ll need to lead a team, from emotional intelligence to relationship building and more. Good management involves more than trying to win friends and influence people — using Lead, Don’t Manage as a leader guide will lead to greater leadership development and the formation of the next generation of leaders for your organization.

When you learn to lead from the top down, you’ll build organizational success from the bottom up.




1. Core Values: Why They Matter to Your Team
2. Goals: How to Manage Them
3. How to Communicate Effectively
4. Are You Managing or Just Keeping Track of Your Employees?
5. Managing Like a Sports Team
6. “Able to, Want to, Allowed to”
7. Water Cooler Talk: Understanding You Have a Brand
8. Performance Reviews: The Why/How/How to
9. Pay to Motivate and Incentivize
10. Creating Alliances
11. Know (Then Accept) Your Risks
12. Final Chapter: This Is Fun!



“As the leader of a powerful and fast growing business in a highly competitive field, Mark Williams imparts fundamental yet invaluable insights about the drivers of organizational success. From building a values-based culture to developing and motivating top talent, Mark covers a broad range of critical strategies and skills for leaders of companies and teams both large and small. His approach is a road map toward sustainable success in the face of volatile markets and new competitive challenges.” — Walter White, President and Chief Executive Officer, Allianz Life

“Building a cohesive team that drives a business forward is every executive’s dream. In Lead, Don’t Manage, Mark delivers a straight-forward, easy to implement approach to enhance the performance and morale of any team. I love the way it brings all stakeholders together for today and into the future. A must read for anyone experiencing stagnation.” — Rick Kisser, CEO, AIP Marketing

Lead, Don’t Manage should be a required read for any new manager, and a regular refresher for an experienced one. I only wish I had read this when I got my first management job—this would have saved me a lot of time and mistakes!”
Maureen James, Owner, Summit Compliance Group, LLC

“Show me any great company, and buried under the hood of that company, is a great leader. In Lead, Don’t Manage, Mark Williams provides managers and employees a roadmap on how to establish clear and effective goals — together.”

Tony Walker, CEO, Walker Financial