The words management and leadership are unfortunately used interchangeable with great frequency – which drives me crazy. They are similar, however, they are miles apart on key issues and it’s important to understand these differences if you want to be a transformational leader.
Three differences between Managers & Leaders:
The Manager is a copy, where as the Leader is an original
An individual who is a manager is only imitating what they are seeing whereas the leader originates ideas. A leader is one who won’t accept the status quo but will challenge it. On any given project, are you pushing the creative envelop or are you buying into groupthink mentality. It’s important to ask the challenging questions that no one else will. The manager is the person who epitomize the classic good solider, we know who they are; we’ve all worked with them before. A leader is a trailblazer, they aren’t going to be a conformer, but by being an original they edify everyone else’s life around them and make it easier to work with because of the way their mind works.
The Manager maintains, where as the Leader develops
A leader is focused on people and understands that people are the most important entity in a successful business or enterprise. However, the manager is focused on the system and structure of the organization and worried about having people fit into the system, instead of seeing how the system can fit to the talent that is there. Essentially a manager is worried about controlling the pieces within the system; but the leader focuses on people and helping them becoming the best they can be. A leader motivates and inspires people to get them on board with the vision of the company and making sure obstacles don’t get in the way of achieving the organization’s goals.
The Manager administers, where as the Leader innovates
Vision casting is a key component of being a great leader. Leadership begins by setting a direction and developing a vision for the future. Leadership is much more strategic and looks towards what could be. A manager will hold on to the last great success of the organization, while a leader is looking on the horizon to the next great success for the company. A manager has a short-range view, but a transformational leader has a long-range perspective. If there isn’t a vision that people within the organization can buy into, if employees don’t know where they are going, people’s drive will dissipate, the bottom line is that a leader needs to always keep their eyes on the horizon. If a leader doesn’t innovate and doesn’t have this mindset there can be grave economic consequences to the organization.
We Need More Leaders
Suffice it to say, that there is a need – a substantial need for more leaders, but not just any leader, quality leaders that cast vision and develop people.