Saturday, August 8, 2015

Leaders vs. Managers

The primary role of leadership is about creating change while the primary objective for management is creating order.

A fundamental purpose of leadership is to provide vision and empower change while a fundamental goal of a manager is to oversee the tasks and execution. Some great managers do lead well, and leaders manage well, but many do not have both skillsets. Some leaders manage badly, and many managers lead badly. What are the most important differences between leaders and managers? And how to cultivate more talents with both skill sets?


Leaders inspire people to think about and reach for what can be. Managers execute to what is. It is rare that any of us are pure leaders or managers, but we have to play both roles based on the team or organization's overall needs. Leaders invite debate and challenges from employees for innovative ideas. Whereas, the managers merely administer and execute the assigned functions with an aim to achieve targeted results. The problem is that if the manager gets stuck in the day to day activities and remain happy with compliance, then there is no room for creativity to do better than expected. If we don't take risks, try new methods and challenge the traditional approach and follow agile leadership, and then the task gets boring and not effective. Great leaders not only have great vision but are realistic towards making it happen, and have a great manager to compliment the execution process. You also need a great manager that understand the vision's prime directive and capable of ensuring a smooth transition during the execution phase towards a successful completion of the vision. Otherwise, it would fail in making it happen. Being a leader can on occasion feel isolating, however, by following your instinct, you will more often than not turn the situation around and produce a positive outcome. A great manager does need to lead "at times" and a great leader does need to manage "at times," however, at the very core, great managers, and great leaders are both critical to every organization and we should respect both leaders and managers


The primary role of leadership is about creating change while the primary objective for management is creating order. Good managers discover and develop leaders in the team. Sometimes the manager will not be the leader of the team but if manage with intelligence can discover the talents and work to retain them and to direct each member's abilities to the best of the company. Leaders are great visionaries. They possess an innate potential to transform vision into reality and become the true source of inspiration and motivation for success. Effective leaders facilitate progress and encourage innovation. Great managers engage people with effective communication and utilize win/win strategies in overcoming obstacles. To be a great leader you need to know how to manage as well.
Management focus    Leadership focus
Task/Things Vision/People
Control Empowerment
Efficiency Effectiveness
Doing things right Doing the right things
Speed Direction
Practices Principles
Command Questioning/Pulling/Communication


Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. When we try to neatly and distinctly package, characterize, and compartmentalize the traits, skills, competencies, IQs and EQs of leaders and managers we tend to oversimplify their purpose, role and function: What is more important: Having a catalog of traits or gauging the impact, the effectiveness and efficiency of leadership and management on followers and organizations? There is an obvious dichotomy between the two extremities of the scale, but most leaders have to learn to be good managers, and vice versa. A great leader can define and effectively communicate the vision, and good managers to help make it happen. To inspire one to take action in a common cause is a trait of leadership. To be memorable as the catalyst for concerted efforts to achieve a common goal or achievement is a trait of leadership. If leaders can be developed, there should be different levels of leaders according to their strengths. If there are different levels of strengths, leadership should be able to develop along their strengths and determine their competencies and accountability.


Leaders are the visionaries moving forward for growth, inspiring the masses for a common goal with innovative moves toward the future. Managers are the implementers, taking the visions of the leaders and implementing the actions actually to make the visions become realities. Leaders hold a long-range view. Good leadership is about doing the right things. Managers: 1+1=2, Leaders: 1+1=3. Leaders use influence to motivate and inspire others to follow and support them as they move the organization beyond its comfort zone. Challenging beliefs, ideas, and strategies along with accepted ways of doing things are all hallmarks of leadership. In reality, leaders have to manage, and managers have to lead to a greater or lesser extent. So the goal is to cultivate talents that are fluent in both skillsets, they are not mutually exclusive.



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