An analogy struck me this week as a powerful lesson in leadership. You see, I have been sharing about the concept of #SocialLegacy and demonstrating the idea with my own example. In The Spare Room book, I cite hospitality as one of my offers, one of the things I enjoy providing to those around me. 

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | My Social Legacy

Someone heard me say this and clarified, “You mean entertaining, right?” I paused to consider this, and realized there was one small difference between the two concepts. One small shift in mindset can change the way you approach things.

You see, entertaining focuses on the host: my home must be spotless, the food must be perfectly plated, the throw pillows placed just so.

On the other hand, hospitality focuses on the guests: where they hang their coats, how they might settle right in without that awkward “do I know anyone here?” moment. 

Entertaining is all about impressing, while hosting is about serving.

The former sets me up to look good, while the latter ensures others feel good. 

And here’s the leadership lesson.

Entertaining is like managing, while hospitality is like leading. 

If you’re managing, you’re ensuring things run smoothly, people look sharp, and the numbers look good. These aren’t bad things, and many excellent managers can go far in their careers.

But if you’re leading, your focus shifts. You’re ensuring people are connecting with each other, receiving the training and coaching they need to develop, and are feeling supported.

This one small shift can change your effectiveness. Are you managing or are you leading?