In this era of technological revolution, leadership and management play a vital role. Although they work together, they have distinct roles to play. The main difference in their role is the leader has people to follow and managers have people who work for them.
Now, questions would pop up into your mind like:
Are they the same? Does anybody lead the other? Do professionals need to possess both the qualities? How do these differences impact an organization over time?
It’s quite obvious to stress over those questions, as organizations these days have complex tasks and functions. A successful business needs both good leaders and managers to get their team work together towards one single goal and meet their vision of success.
Leadership is about having a vision, making people understand and believe it and work hard to achieve success, whereas management is all about making sure that the day-to-day tasks are being done as asked.
Roles and Responsibilities
Now that we have a fair idea about who the managers and leaders are, it is important to know their roles and responsibilities.
What do managers do?
A manager is an employee of the organization who is handed the responsibility of four major functions – planning, organisation, leading and control. Do not confuse yourself with the word, ‘leading’. You might wonder whether all the managers are leaders.
Indeed, a manager can be a leader, provided he must carry on with all the leadership responsibilities like motivation, communication, giving inspiration, guiding and encouraging employees to achieve more.
Here is a fact – not all managers are good leaders. Some managers have very poor leadership qualities, due to which their teams often fail to perform the best. Their subordinates follow them because they are obliged to do so, and not because they are influenced by them.
The chief responsibility of a manager is to meet the goals and objectives of the organization and usually not take too much into consideration. However, the manager is held responsible for their actions and the actions of their subordinates as well.
What do leaders do?
The main difference between a manager and leader is that the latter does not necessarily hold a management position. A leader can be any employee.
Unlike managers, leaders are followed because of their ideas and beliefs. A leader invests himself entirely into a given project and demonstrates a high level of dedication and passion towards work. They display a great deal of interest in the success of their followers and help them achieve a greater level of satisfaction associated with their goals.
A leader is not bestowed with formal power over his followers. A temporary power is awarded them and it is ensured that this power is conditional based on the leader’s ability to handle prolonged responsibilities while inspiring and motivating their team members.
Traits of Exceptional Leaders and Managers
Out of various traits that make a strong leader, few are listed under:
- Honesty and Integrity: These are the most important traits to make people believe in you and invest in your ideas.
- Vision: They have a clear vision of what they want and how they are going to achieve it.
- Ability to challenge: True leaders are never afraid to challenge the status quo. They have an inborn attitude to think and do things differently.
- Inspirational Attitude: Great leaders inspire their team. They make sure that each one of them understands their role and has a fair idea about the bigger picture.
- Communication Skills: Good leaders convey their ideas clearly to the team. They keep the team informed about their journey, where they are heading, and any roadblocks that come their way.
Strong managers have many skills. Out of the various skills displayed by them, few are listed under:
- Direction: Strong managers review day-to-day resources, work on everyday efforts and anticipate requirements along the way.
- Execution of Vision: They take a strategic vision and take calculated risks by splitting it into a roadmap to be followed by their team.
- Process Management: They establish rules, define standards and procedures of operation.
- Team Focused: They look after the members of their team, listen to them, understand their needs and involve their opinions.
- Appreciation: Strong managers recognize their the best team players and reward them for their performance and their contribution to the team.
With the description of strong leaders and managers, it is quite clear that an organization needs both of them to run properly. They play a vital role in their part. Now that you know who is a leader and a manager, you can distinguish them in more explicit manner.
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