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What Differentiates Leaders from Managers

In the corporate world, there is always someone on top, unless you are running your own business. That person, being on top, has a pivotal role to play and has a major impact on the company that they represent. 

Anything from running a highly successful team, to failing at even being able to retain the best talent, it all comes down to how leaders differ from managers in a business structure. 

Management was always thought of as that responsibility which had to deal with forecasting, budgeting and managing a team of workers. The position has diversified with changing times as the demand for visionary leaders’ increases and competition stiffens. Organizations have automated all basic functions, turning the need of transforming traditional manages into leaders overtime as well. 

In previous years, managers were taught to, well, manage people. Leadership is the essence of today’s world and with newer generations coming into the workforce, a whole new outlook on management style in the office is needed.  

1. Employees and Followers

A major difference between leaders and managers is very simple and straightforward. Managers have employees working under them, while leaders have followers, aspiring to be like them one day in the future.  

Motivated employees are easily seen to be following a leader that they see as their role model. This certainly does not have anything to do with looks and appearance per se, but the way that they take their team along for the ride is what matters most. A leader grows when their team grows and a manager is usually selfish enough to keep all the growth for themselves. This certainly has to do with level of insecurity and the lack of trust from the top to bottom.  

Trusting employees with tasks is what a leader does. It is smart to trust capable employees with major responsibilities and allowing them to learn from their mistakes, while guiding them along the way. Managers fail to realize the importance of delegating and giving the team a chance to practically learn anything.  

2. Taking Charge

It is always easy to point the finger towards someone else when things get out of control and don’t exactly go the way that you had planned. What a leader does differently than a manager is taking charge, figuring out a solution, brainstorming with teammates and using the expertise of his people to bring things back to normal again.  

No one benefits from the blame game and this is what makes leaders extraordinary, because their team knows that they have someone who will always have their back. Not only do employees feel wanted and motivated, but they also are willing to stand up for their leader and perform any delegated task with their full potential seeing what really is at stake. The most loyal of employees are those who have a leader taking charge. 

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3. Reactive and Proactive

This is quite common in today’s world as most managers are quick to go on a rant once things fail to go the way they were hoping. Good news or bad news, it is all about being proactive and working with what you have right now. Managers usually lose their cool and are quickly pushed to the edge of wanting to fire someone, but only do leaders know that keeping calm is essential to having a clear mind and making impactful decisions.  

Emotions are not supposed to overtake one’s thinking abilities and in the end, it can mean all the difference between making the right decision or failing on multiple fronts. 

No matter what industry you are in, doing your job in the right way is what matters most. Managing the organizations interests is what a leader and manager have to do, but how it is done and the quality of work from the two is as clear as day.  

 

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