How Do You See Yourself: As a Leader or a Manager?
Managers aren’t the same as leaders. Both control teams of people, but they do things fundamentally different. Whether you’re a leader or a manager is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.
While leaders create a vision, managers work within it
A leader thinks of what may be possible in the future, creates a vision for others to see, and tries to engage them in order to get them to turn it into reality. They bring people together to try to get them to make something that’s bigger than themselves. Managers, however, work not with visions, but with goals. While goals may serve the larger vision of the leaders, managers care about what happens on a narrower scale.
While leaders try to change things, managers try to keep them as they are
Leaders are all about disruption. They try to embrace change, innovate, and find a better way to do things. Managers, on the other hand, mostly work with smaller goals, and attempt to do what they know already works. They refine processes, to make things better without creating waves.
While leaders are one-of-a-kind, managers mimic
Leaders are people who are able to be themselves. They are able to create their own unique personal style, and usually, can stand out. Managers, on the other hand, learn their skills. They copy from others what has worked before, and adopt management styles, rather than defining them.
Leaders deal with risk; managers avoid it
Leaders will try new things even if they lead to failure. They realize that failure is only a step in the direction of success, and are willing to accept it. Managers, on the other hand, intend to minimize risk. They avoid and control problems rather than invite them.
Leaders think on longer timescales than managers
Leaders work on big, long-term goals. They may not see a reward for their efforts for years, but they accept it. Managers, on the other hand, work on known, short-term goals. They thrive on the acknowledgment that they receive, and the praise that comes their way.
Leaders create relationships; managers create processes
Leaders focus on the people that they believe will help make their vision a reality. They build loyalty by doing what they promise. Managers work with people, as well, but only as far as they need to in order to build and perfect their management processes. They are more analytical than leaders, and make sure that processes and systems are in place to achieve the goals that they desire.
Leaders offer expansive coaching; managers offer training
Leaders trust that the people under them are competent and can get things done. They give them large goals and coach them in the philosophy of getting there. Managers, however, stay with the people under them and train them in a more direct and consistent way to help them achieve their goals.
Finally, leaders attract fans for their leadership style. Managers, on the other hand, attract team members. If they do their job well, their team members admire them but do not follow them.
Leaders and managers occupy different spaces in taking a company to its success. They need each other, but managers do what is more routine than what leaders do.