Leaders vs. Managers

As we go through our careers or professions, we may move from being a manager to being a leader. Some people think they are same. Today, I will explain how they are different.

Leaders do the right thing while managers do things right. This isn’t the same thing. Leaders are leaders because they routinely do the right things. Managers have to follow the rules that the company sets for the enterprise. Managers are tasked to responsible for efficiency, while leaders are tasked with effectiveness. Managers are responsible for the how, while leaders are responsible for the what and why. Managers are more concerned with the systems, policies, procedures and the structure of the organization. Leaders are people; about trust.

Leaders are responsible for defining the vision of the enterprise while managers are tasked with the details of achieving that vision. A great leader will be able to communicate his vision and get buy in from the rest of the enterprise. The management will then devise the plan to achieve the vision. This plan will implemented by the managers and others. Managers follow the leaders vision for the organization.

A great leader will “pull” followers, while managers “push” followers. A leader will have followers because they are motivated by the leaders vision. Leaders don’t have to push people to follow them, they do it because they are drawn to follow. Managers push their people to achieve specific goals, projects and tasks. Managers have to push the people for efficiency.

Leaders are innovators, while managers maintain the status quo. Leaders are agile and adaptive. Leaders understand the health of the organization is more than just the bottom line.

Both individuals are vital to the organization. Without great leaders and managers, an organization will become stagnate.

So which one describes you? Are you a leader or manager?

“The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”

Warren G. Bennis

If you are wanting to enhance your leadership skills, check out my leadership programs.


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