Unfortunately, not every manager is a leader. Unlike managers, leaders focus on people, inspire trust, originate, accept challenges and always do the right thing.
Leadership vs Management…. It’s a never-ending debate… A leader or a manager… which one is more successful? Can a manager be a great leader? What is the real difference between a leader and a manager?
Leadership and management are not the same thing, but they both must both go hand in hand. If truth be told, they are interconnected and complementary. Any attempt to separate the two is likely to create more predicaments than it can solve.
Still, a lot of time has been spent by many entrepreneurs, thought leaders, business owners and marketers in defining the true difference between leadership and management.
“Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.” – Harvard Business Review
Remember, not every manager is a leader. I firmly believe that a successful manager is one that can lead and manage interchangeably. Without excellent leadership qualities, a manager will not be able to accomplish goals necessary for his business growth and success.
In this age, an empathetic, trust-based human leadership is critical to lead a team and run a profitable company. Here are some enormous differences between leaders and managers that every entrepreneur should know.
Managers have Objectives, Leaders Create Vision
Many people believe that the primary task of a manager is to run business operations smoothly. There are standard processes and expected results from each process that a manager is responsible for. They focus on setting, measuring and achieving ROI. They strive hard to reach or exceed their objectives.
However, when it comes to leadership, it’s an entirely different story. They paint a clear picture of what they think is attainable, and seek to inspire and engage their team in realizing that vision into reality. Leaders think beyond what their team members can do. They always motivate people to be part of a greater achievement. They truly understand that high-functioning teams can achieve more working together than working individually. Great leaders allow people to design their own jobs as much as possible and put their own stamp on their job, and don’t take credit for their achievements.
“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal or any goal”. Vince Lombardi
Leaders Innovate, Managers Administer
Leaders are always looking for ways to innovate and come up with something effective even if things are working well. The always find advanced and better solutions for their teams. They believe that changes to the system do wonders in helping their business reach unprecedented heights of success. However, managers stick with the standard processes that work, and polish systems and structures to make them better.
“Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether that ladder is leaning against the right wall”. Stephen Covey
Leaders are Original, Managers Copy
Leaders work actively to build a unique personal brand. They stand out due to their authentic and transparent nature. On the other hand, managers mimic the competencies and actions that they have learned from others and adopt their leadership style instead of coming up with their own.
“Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do. Leadership is about inspiring people to do things that they never thought they could.” Steve Jobs
Managers Accept the Status Quo, Leaders Challenge it
Leaders are always willing to take risks even if they fail miserably. They don’t hesitate to make mistakes as they know that failure is the first step on the path to success. While managers make every effort to mitigate risks, they focus their concentration on controlling the situation, instead of embracing it.
“Management is all about arranging and telling. Leadership is about nurturing and enhancing.” Tom Peters
Leaders Think Long Term, Managers Work on Short-Term Goals
Leaders always stay motivated to achieve big, distant goals. They remain determined without the lust of accolades. However, managers work on short-term goals and look for regular rewards and appreciation.
“The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.”
Leaders Motivate and Inspire, Managers Assign Duties
Leaders know fully well that employees who work for them are efficient enough to perform their tasks. They see their people as highly-competent and optimistic about their skills. Instead of taking over the reins, they give their employees the freedom to do their tasks on their own. They don’t micromanage and direct people on what to do and how to do it. On the flipside, managers take matters into their own hands and dictate their team members on the best way to accomplish a task.
“You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
Leaders Inspire Trust, Managers Rely on Control
Leaders focus on people, they trust them to be the best that they can be. They build loyalty and trust by consistently believing in their competencies. Managers focus on the structures required to set and achieve objectives. They always ensure that systems are in place to attain the best results. They know the consequences if their workers get out of line.
“The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.” Warren G. Bennis
Whether you are an entrepreneur having to contend with juggling all the major responsibilities of your company and becoming the jack of all trades in turn, or aspiring to become a great leader in the future, learn these important differences that set leaders apart from simple managers.