Leaders lead while managers manage! This sounds simple, right? This submission was made by an employee when asked what he considered the key differences between a leader vs manager. Are you looking for a leadership or managerial role at some point in your career path? The following are some of the leader vs manager traits you should look out for.
Lead vs Manage
Leading involves taking initiative for others to follow. Leaders focus on doing it to guide or show how it is done to inspire others while managing involves some elements of controlling and/or supervising others.
Great managers are good leaders but great leaders are never managers. A key trait to adopt as a manager is to be a leader that takes initiative for others to follow rather than direct all your time and energy into controlling them.
Vision vs Execution
Being a visionary is important as it provides a basis for guiding teams and organisations to why they exist and the goals they need to attain but the vision is not just enough. All leaders must be able to adopt the executing capabilities inherent in the role of being a manager to be able to execute and achieve set goals.
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Inspire vs Control
One of the many notable qualities of many leaders through history and in great organisations is their ability to inspire people and teams to carry out their different tasks with ownership that leads to helping the whole part come together. The inspiration that leads to quality ownership of work within teams and organisation makes for a successful unit.
Both managers and leaders should seek to inspire ownership rather than control; it kills the innovative spirit of team members.
Coach vs Direct
Leaders coach and support their teams to achieve or attain a level of professional goal that allows them to be intuitive and innovative. Leading involves a certain level of mentoring, which provides the mentee with the required guidance they need to be able to achieve their goals. On the other hand, a manager naturally directs his/her team to achieve a certain set goal and result.
Long-Term vs Short-Term
Managerial abilities are short-term and are usually defined by the goal. No matter how long they last, managerial abilities are plagued by a short lifespan while leadership strives to solve a current problem and well as aiming for long-term goals. True leaders need to adopt tactics and strategies that are long term than short term. Even when strategies appear to suit the team or task on the short-term, it’s important to be mindful of your long-term goals.
Final Thoughts on Leader vs Manager
Managers should aspire to be managers but can also adapt to some positives that being a manager offers as we have pointed out. In all, you want to lead a team that can function optimally even in the absence of your input. Leadership is not only about being the manager in charge. Hence, every career person is advised to imbibe these leadership traits while honing their skills. This will ensure it becomes second knowledge to you as you progress through the ranks and journey through your career.