Leaders Vs Managers: Adaptive Leaders Pursue Change; Old Style Managers Cling To The Past
What Is The Difference Between Leaders And Managers! I
What It Means to Be a Leader
Leadership Skills for Managers, Fourth Edition
by Charles M. Cadwell
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MANAGING AND LEADING
Leadership and management are not the same thing, but neither are they mutually exclusive. Being a successful manager does not mean one will be a successful leader. Management skills and abilities, however, don’t go away when one becomes a leader. Strong management skills provide the foundation on which effective leaders develop new skills that complement those that made them successful as managers. The differences are largely matters of focus and movement from the smaller details to the bigger picture. Ultimately, the key to success is the ability to integrate new leadership skills with current management skills. Some ways to distinguish the differences between leaders and managers are summarized in below
Leaders Innovate; Managers Administer
Managers usually focus on the daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that need to be done to keep the organization running smoothly. They emphasize meeting short-term deadlines and goals while dealing with the problems that are occurring at the moment.
Management skills provide a foundation for developing leadership skills. Effective leaders have the ability to apply the appropriate skill at the appropriate time and in the appropriate place.
Leaders, on the other hand, often focus on upsetting the daily routine. They are willing to take risks and try new ideas. They don’t let the crisis of the day slow them down. Instead, they look for new and better ways of doing things.
1) Leaders Seek Challenges; Managers Seek to Maintain the Status Quo
Frequently, managers tend to accept the status quo and strive to keep things they way they are. They don’t like to rock the boat; in fact, some would rather not get in the boat at all. They want to keep their feet on dry ground. As such, many managers are inclined to resist new ideas and untried ways of doing things. Managers often have too much to do today to worry about tomorrow. They are not concerned about new ways of doing things as long as what they are doing is working. The manager’s motto is, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
In contrast, effective leaders challenge themselves and their people. The best leaders are constantly seeking challenges. They are looking for new worlds to conquer—something different from the norm. They quickly become bored with doing the same tasks over and over. They thrive on doing something they haven’t done before and doing it until they succeed. Effective leaders consider improvement a way of life. They tend to ask questions such as: “How can we make this better? What if we did it this way?” Leaders don’t pretend to have all the answers, but they do have a lot of questions.
2) Leaders Think Long Term; Managers Think Short to Mid Term
Leaders have goals that excite and inspire people. Leaders have a vision of what they want the organization and its people to become—a vision that has been shaped with input from the people in the organization. Leaders make it a priority to communicate that vision so everyone in the organization has a clear sense of the direction. Effective leaders use their vision to motivate their staff to achieve their full potential.
At the same time, effective leaders don’t lose sight of their short-term responsibilities. That’s where being a good manager remains an essential part of the equation. Those who are successful can focus on both short-term and long-term responsibilities.
3)Leaders Motivate and Inspire; Managers Control
Successful leaders have the ability to inspire and motivate the people who work for them. Managers, on the other hand, sometimes are more interested in controlling their people. For example, a manager tends to rely on policies and procedures when making decisions about how to interact with employees. A leader, on the other hand, is dedicated and committed to doing what’s right regardless of what the policy says.
This dedication and commitment shows in the enthusiasm leaders have for getting the job done. Their enthusiasm rubs off on their people and gets them excited too. The best leaders understand that their people are always watching for clues as to how they should act.
Leaders are truly concerned about satisfying the basic human needs for achievement and recognition. Leaders know that their people want to make a contribution and to have control over what they do. Leaders work with their people to set goals, rather than dictating the goals. Leaders support the efforts of their employees to achieve their goals by providing regular, consistent feedback and recognition when they succeed. Successful managers do many of the same things, which helps them make the transition to leadership positions.
4) Leaders Worry About Doing the Right Things; Managers Worry About Doing Things Right
Managers are concerned about being efficient, while leaders are concerned about being effective. Managers want to get things done as quickly and efficiently as possible. They want to tie up all the loose ends and make sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s are dotted. Getting the critical details right takes priority.
Effective leaders focus on results to be sure that the organization is effective. They aren’t afraid to be wrong once in a while, as long as they are trying to be effective. Leaders ask themselves, “Why am I here?” They are constantly challenging themselves to look down the road and to determine how they can be most effective.
5)Leaders Have a Wide Circle of Influence; Managers Have Limited Influence
Effective leaders not only impact the organization they are part of, but they also influence people outside the organization. They are recognized for the leadership they provide beyond the boundaries of the organization. For example, leaders such as Jefferson, Ghandi, and Churchill are recognized for the contributions they made beyond their own leadership province. Successful leaders of individual companies are, in turn, recognized as leaders within their industries. Bill Gates is a recognized leader of the technology community in addition to leading his own dominant company.
Many managers, on the other hand, tend to have very little impact outside their own sphere of influence. You can probably think of managers who dominate their own departments, but have little influence with the organization as a whole. Those who make the transition to leadership are people whose opinions and ideas are sought out by others. When they speak, they are the ones to whom upper-echelon leadership listens. They are recognized as the up and coming leaders in their organizations