Strategy

Everything you need to know about Leader vs. Manager

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Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thingsPeter F. Drucker

While working in an organization, you must have noticed that each team member is different and has their method of motivating themselves. Similarly, every manager and leader has a different strategy for dealing with conflicts.

Remember that being promoted to a managerial position does not instantly make you a leader. While many of you may believe that these two terms are interchangeable, that’s not the case.

Many successful managers facilitate projects and work and get the job done correctly, but what are some unique features of leaders that inspire process change and drive the power structure?

We have discussed some critical differences between managers and leaders. To help you become a sassy PM, we have compiled a list of the skills you would need in this article, Manager Vs Leader.

Before we get into the details, let us define what we believe managers and leaders are, what they excel at, and what their roles are before we speculate too much on their difference.

What Does It Mean to Manage Things?

Managers are hired by organizations to monitor the productivity of the employees. They hire and fire team members to ensure the tasks are completed within the given timespan. While adhering to all organizational rules and policies and using the resources allotted there’s a lot which a manager does i.e. managing budget, project, and timeline.

 Function of Manager

functions of manager

A Project manager is responsible for the following functions

  • Setting goals, developing strategies, and developing plans to organize the organization’s operations are all part of the planning function.
  • Organizing entails arranging resources and scheduling tasks so that activities can be completed in sequential order.
  • The staffing function is responsible for finding qualified candidates for various positions within an organization.
  • Directing entails giving subordinates direction, guidance, and supervision so they can complete their tasks effectively.
  • Controlling entails keeping an eye on the activities of employees to ensure that they are carried out as planned by making comparisons.

What Does It Mean to Lead Things?

Leadership is described as a social influence relationship between members of a group who rely on one another to achieve a common objective. The relationship revolves primarily around the followers’ acceptance or rejection of the leader. Leaders are typically considered to steer a group of people within an organization.

Not all managers can acquire leadership skills. Later in this article Manger vs Leadership, we have explored the factors that distinguished the two.

What does it take to lead a group of people? Are CEOs and department heads the only people who can be leaders? Are leaders born or made?

Below we have tried to compile some skills of leaders, if you want to know more, here are the qualities of leadership.

Functions of Leader

qualities of leaders

Foresight: The ability to predict and plan for the long term

Intelligence: The ability to incorporate and analyze things

Creativity: can be defined as thinking that is distinct, innovative, and original

Enthusiasm: The ability to stay active, show interest, and think positively

Charisma: The ability to attract and influence others

Decisiveness: The ability to make timely and appropriate decisions

Self-assurance: Believing in one’s abilities and trusting one’s abilities

Bravery: Making the first move, bringing about change in certain situations

Using leadership characteristics on your projects can motivate teams to become more efficient. As a result, projects are completed on time and on budget, and employees genuinely enjoy their work.

That means a lot of positive stuff for you as a project manager, such as satisfied clients and line managers. So, what are the key distinctions between management and leadership?

Let us take a closer look at the Manager vs. Leaders

10 Most Significant Differences between Managers and Leaders

1. Leaders develop strategies, and managers set organizational aims

 Leaders give an impression of what they believe is plausible and then encourage and interact with their followers to make that vision come true. They consider things beyond what individuals do. They give people a sense of belonging.

Managers are concerned with the setting, measuring, and achieving objectives. They exert control over situations to achieve or exceed their goals.

2. Leaders influence policy while managers preserve the status quo.

Leaders take pride in being disruptive. Their motto is “Innovation.” They accept change and acknowledge that even when things seem to be going well, there could be a better way to proceed.

Managers adhere to what appears to work to improve systems, structures, and processes. Alan Murray defines a manager as someone who “establishes appropriate targets and yardsticks, and analyzes, appraises, and interprets performance” in his book, The Wall Street Journal Essential Guide to Management: Lasting Lessons from the Best Leadership Minds of Our Time.

3. Leaders have individuality, and managers imitate

While discussing Managers vs Leaders, both have their unique set of characteristics and are equally important for the project’s success.

Leaders are proactive and transparent and with their efficient leadership communication, they develop their distinct and differentiating brand image.

On the other hand, managers imitate the skills and behaviors they observe in others and adapt their leadership style rather than specifying it.

4. Taking Risk vs Managing Risk

Great leaders understand that to be innovative, they must be willing to take risks. Risk-taking is such a valuable quality that research shows that leaders who take risks are more likely to be viewed optimistically by their employees, regardless of whether those who find success.

While taking risks creates new opportunities, controlling risk is critical for preventing businesses from becoming lost at sea.

5. Leaders focus on the future, managers focus on Now

One of the primary differences between Managers vs leaders is that leaders are more concerned with the future, whereas managers are more present and aware.

Leaders are deliberate. They follow through on their promises and maintain motivation toward a large, often long-term project.

Managers focus on shorter-term objectives, seeking more frequent recognition or endorsements.

6. Self-Development vs Proven Skills

Leaders are continual learners. They understand that they will fall behind if they do not learn something new each day. They will constantly seek out people and information that will broaden their horizons. Leaders share new information with their teams and encourage them to grow and develop alongside them.

Managers typically magnify down on what made them effective, honing existing skills and adopting tried-and-true habits.

7. Leaders Mentor While Managers Supervise

Leaders recognize that their employees either have the answers or can find them. They believe in their employees and are optimistic about their potential. Leaders empower their workforce, capture their followers’ attention, and inspire them to pursue important organizational initiatives by developing a personal leadership style through self-reflection, authentic communication, and continuous feedback.

Managers delegate tasks and provide direction on how to complete them. A manager’s authority is based on their ability to exercise complete control. Employees do not have to like or trust their managers to follow orders. Managers expect and require control to do their jobs well.

8. Leaders develop connections while managers create processes.

Leaders concentrate on people – all of the stakeholders they must influence to realize their vision. They are aware of their stakeholders and spend most of their time with them.

Managers, on the other hand, focus solely on the structures required to set and achieve goals. They concentrate on the analytical and ensure that systems are the n place to achieve the Leaders results. They collaborate with individuals to achieve their goals and objectives.

9. Motivators vs. Doers

The next considerable factor in Manager Vs Leader is Managers are terrific “doers.” They take the time to specify a plan, layout the components and see that it is conducted properly. They understand how long tasks take and why because they dig in and become acquainted with their team’s work.

Meanwhile, leaders are more concerned with encouraging their teams. Inspiring others to work efficiently and effectively is an excellent leader the ship trait. They establish objectives and empower their teams to achieve them uniquely. Furthermore, leadership has a significant impact on employee engagement

10. Leaders Generate ideas, While Managers Implement

While management development is related to logic and control, leaders are more concerned with possibilities for organizational effectiveness. They accomplish this by generating new ideas and promoting a forward-thinking mindset. In other words, managers always seek responses to “how and when,” whereas leaders seek answers to the questions “what and why.”

Managers connect with people based on their role in the decision-making process, whereas leaders, who are concerned with ideas, relate in higher-level but empathetic ways.

The primary difference is simply between a manager’s focus on how things are done and a leader’s focus on what should be done to achieve better results. The difference between leadership and management in terms of organizational culture is that leaders define and shape the culture. At the same time, managers encourage their employees to adhere to the culture.

As a result, without the close cooperation of management and leadership, it is unimaginable to encourage employees to live by the company’s culture and basic tenets.

Where Management and Leadership Intersect?

management-and-leadership-interact

Above we have discussed Manager vs Leader, but their duties and responsibilities overlap in many areas. The three main areas are as follows:

1. Communication

This is paramount for an organization’s success at all levels, including leadership and management. Employees, as stated previously, expect to be informed and educated about their company’s current status and plans. While leadership communication should inspire others, consistent and clear management communication encourages employees to do their best while bolstering teamwork.

2. Crisis Planning and Management

Leaders and managers should collaborate during times of change or crisis, just as they do when making decisions. The changing dynamics of the global situation have taught us the importance of agile workplace transformation and the importance of quickly adapting to change. While leaders may better understand the necessary change, managers understand how to enable their employees to accept and align with the change.

3. Problem Solving Approach

Problem-solving and decision-making: The manager and the leader are responsible for effective decision-making and problem-solving. Leaders are rule-breakers, visionaries, and purpose definers. Managers are rule implementers, detail organizers, and compliance monitors.

Which One is Preferable?

Leaders and managers may exist on two extremes of a spectrum, but they work together for the success of the organization

Managers vs Leaders- To function correctly, businesses require both. You will discover that in your role, you will be needed to be both at times.

How you can use your leadership or management skills is determined by your workplace environment, your team’s ability to carry out their responsibilities, and their acceptance of the change.

Leadership is the way to go if you already have a high-performing team that can handle innovation and creativity while maintaining their responsibilities.

Can you manage and lead at the same time?

Yes, in a variety of situations! Many of the skills required for leadership and management are similar. On a Venn diagram, the best managers and leaders would meet halfway. However, it is essential to consider that your skills can continually be improved and strive to be the best leader or manager possible when the situations call for it.

What Would You Choose?

What are your opinions? Do you implement these characteristics in your team and your day-to-day group projects? Do you have the features of a good manager?

After getting an idea about Manger vs Leader, Do you want to enhance any specific skills and experience in your management or leadership style?

Do you consider yourself to be an effective manager or leader? Interact with us in the comment section.


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Frank is a senior editor and productivity enthusiast. Loves hunting and reviewing new tools. When he's not writing he's normally cooking, gardening or reading.

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