Steve Jobs was always seen as a great leader, not a great manager. That’s a common trait for a visionary, who thinks differently and focuses innovations rather than tactical thinker who strives to keep the company working. While people may use leaders and managers synonymously, the two terms differ because they come with different skill sets and responsibilities.
Leaders and managers are usually not the same people, but both are crucial for a company to grow and prosper. Managers tell employees what to do and how to do it, whereas leaders inspire their team to complete their tasks. Not all great leaders can effectively manage while not all managers can shape ideas and galvanize the team like magnificent leaders can.
Record Of Tasks Versus Natural Talent
If you search job boards, you might find that many companies post openings for managers when they are actually looking for someone to take a leader role. As a member of the Forbes Coaches Council phrased it: “Manager is a title. It is a role and a set of responsibilities. Having the position of manager does not make you a leader … Leadership is the result of action.”
Because managers have a set of duties, it’s easier for HR to define responsibilities for someone managing an organization or department than the true qualities that make a leader.
But the skills, expertise and measures of success that define a great leader harder to specify. Any managers who desire to be good leaders should know which qualities they possess or that they possibly need to improve to make the transformation a positive one.
The Power Of The Position Versus Personal Power
The traditional description of a manager’s role is a person who directs a function or an area. Such a task may involve decisions like who should perform a certain role and when to keep things moving. On the other hand, Leaders may delegate tasks to people to decide the best way to support the companies efforts because a leader makes sure everyone is working together to meet their goals. Additionally, leaders are above a designated title; they radiate personal power versus position power.
A Harvard Business Review piece described this phenomena as “counting value versus creating value.” While managers make sure all staff accomplishes their tasks and oversees the work output, leaders find ways to exceed expectations, encouraging the team to achieve even more. The more people who seek your advice, inspiration and support, especially those who are not in your immediate work area, the more likely it is that you are seen as a leader, regardless of your title.
Many people assume their title automatically makes them a leader. However, true leaders do not demand allegiance or threaten people to “encourage” them to follow their footsteps. Leaders trust their instinctsand put faith in other people.
Responsibilities And Traits That Also Differ
Resourceful Manager posted an Infographic in 2016 which compared the characteristics that separate leaders and managers. According to that graphic, most people have traits consistent with both:
- Managers inform people what to do and give instruction on how to do it; expands on details and work duties; helps the team to stick plans and strives to fix any problems that arise; and commands adherence to the the values.
- On the other hand, leaders sell people on the tasks they need to do; they challenge convention to create new paths; they see problems as opportunities and inspire others to follow them or adopt their specific vision.
People who are self motivated and work groups do not always need a manager. A group like that might resent being managed or any attempt to exercise uninvited authority. However leaders naturally emerge because of their personality, even if they are not officially in charge.
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Harrison Rogers Bio:
Harrison Rogers is the CEO of HJR Global. His passion for entrepreneurship and innovation has led to the launch of several successful companies, with several ventures ranking high on the INC 5000 list of fastest growing companies in America. Harrison’s enthusiasm for business success and his passion for education motivated him to help businesses become healthy and profitable. He has helped brand new ventures get off the ground and established businesses to return to health. Harrison is always looking for the next opportunity to be an advocate, a coach, and a partner for new, exciting ventures.
Harrison has been voted Most Influential in Valley Business, as well as Arizona Republic’s 35 under 35 and Phoenix Magazine’s 40 under 40.