The roles of a manager and a leader can be blurred. Often people will declare themselves one or the other, but sometimes you have to wear both hats. However, the roles are very different.
Here are a few pointers to help you distinguish whether you are a manager or a leader.
A leader sets the goals and directions of an organisation, someone with the grand vision.
A leader looks for new ways of working, ways of innovation and challenging the norm.
Often a leader is someone who inspires others, motivates a team in order to strive towards the goals.
A leader can be persuasive; they will need to be influential in order to get what they need to achieve their goals.
A good leader is also someone that listens and can teach or coach others.
Leaders create teams.
Managers, on the other hand, are maintaining the status quo who aim to keep everything running smoothly.
Often they are managing teams or individuals in order to achieve goals. The manager is the person who has the responsibility to organise and direct assets –financial or people – in order to achieve the desired outcome.
The manager role is seen as to maximise efficiency so results can be achieved.
The managers’ focus tends to be on work and tasks. Some of the processes involved in this are planning, organising, coordinating, time management, budgeting.
A leader is someone that has people follow them; on the other hand, managers have people who work for them.
In business, both the manager and leader roles need to have their people on side in order to achieve the vision and goals.
Managers often react to a situation. However, leaders tend to be proactive and try and foresee problems arising in the first place.
Managers shift responsibility as they delegate tasks out and often the blame goes with it. Meanwhile, leaders take responsibility and aren’t afraid to admit mistakes and learn from their actions.
While differences in the roles can be drawn, it is also worth pointing out the similarities.
Whether communicating vision and direction or communicating actions and decision making, it is imperative that both leader and managers have outstanding communication skills.
Both roles need to have good team skills. The success of achieving a task or goal is never down to one individual. Teamwork is vital in order to achieve success. Therefore both managers and leaders need to be able to work well in a team. Keep the team motivated and inspired in order to get results.
When you’re starting out as an entrepreneur you are both a leader and manager. Which isn’t too bad when it’s just you. However, as your business starts to grow you’ll soon identify whether you’re a better manager or leader.
Let me know in the comments below what you think of when you hear the words leader and manager?