- Talent Management
The terms “manager” and “leader” often go hand-in-hand, but the reality is, in many ways these two terms couldn’t be more different from one another.
Yes, both terms refer to someone who’s in charge of employees or an organization in some capacity, but that’s where the similarities often end.
This doesn’t mean that one is necessarily negative and one is positive, but it’s important to understand where you are in terms of being a manager, a leader or both, and then understand where your personal deficiencies may lie in order to improve your own performance, the performance of your employees, and the overall performance of your organization.
Mind vs. Method
While there are countless different interpretations of what it is to be a manager versus a leader, one of the common schools of thoughts relates to the idea that managers are working based on skill and craft, while leaders operate from a particular mindset, and a set of traits that set them apart.
You can also look at it this way—management is something that’s primarily focused on external components, while leadership is something that’s internalized.
Why You Need Managers and Leaders
As mentioned at the start of the article, it’s not necessarily a negative thing to be a manager instead of a leader and vice versa, but successful organizations need both, and many people believe the best possible situation is to have people in organizations that are both managers and leaders. The skill-sets and mindsets required to be both can be complementary to one another.
Managers tend to understand the importance of output, numbers and metrics from a business-centric standpoint. On the other hand, leaders tend to be the people who inspire and motivate employees. Leaders are really the people who set the tone, the culture and the direction of a company, whereas managers make sure those things are properly executed.
Transforming From Manager to Leader
Maybe you’ve realized you’re all about the numbers and the results, and you’re more of a manager. Perhaps you have the skill-set in place to be a great manager, but you’re lacking the leadership skills you need to carry your organization forward.
Can you learn to become a leader?
Many experts believe so.
Consider the following tips that will allow you to still leverage your managerial skills, but also tap into your leadership potential:
What do you see as the primary differences between managers and leaders, and can leadership be something that’s learned or developed?
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