Are You Managing to Lead? By Monty J. Sharp, Certified Comprehensive Coach http://www.workteamcoaching.com
For many people, terms “manager” and “leader” are synonymous. In business world, they are often used interchangeably, i.e. “team leader”, “team manager”, “project manager” - you get idea. And why not? After all, leaders and managers do basically same thing, right?
In some instances, there do seem to be commonalities between two and management techniques are sometimes confused with leadership traits. However, there are, I believe, some key distinctions to be made that radically separate two.
Here then, are what I consider to be some key differences between a leader and a manager:
1. A manager administers. A leader innovates.
Managers take policies and procedures and ensure that they are carried out. Leaders are constantly challenging “status quo” to achieve bigger and better things.
2. A manager maintains. A leader develops.
As long as things are running smoothly, manager is typically happy. The leader is never satisfied with “status quo” or “the way we’ve always done it”. Leaders are constantly asking for more and bigger things – of themselves as well as those they lead.
3. Managers rely on control. Leaders inspire trust.
Managers can feel threatened by subordinates who don’t seem to be “towing line”. In doing so, they create a co-dependency in subordinates who, in turn, rely on manager to dictate nearly every step of process. Leaders know how to tap into inherent strengths of those they lead and then foster those strengths to benefit of organization.
4. A manager has his eye only on “bottom line”. A leader has his eye on horizon as well.
In orienteering (using a map and compass) you must set your sights on a distant object to get an accurate bearing. If you take only short-range sightings, it is much more likely you will stray far off right course. In same way, “bottom lining” only without also “visioning” can result in ending up at a destination you did not plan on.
5. The manager imitates. The leader originates.