What is the true difference between a leader and a manager? Are leaders and managers just the same thing? Are you automatically a leader if you are a manager or vice versa?
Many people often find themselves confused between these two common terms. Some even use them interchangeably. However, they are different from each other.
To put it simply, a manager is someone with subordinates, while a leader has followers.
While managers often focus more on outcomes, leaders, on the other hand, focus on people while looking at the bigger picture. But things are deeper than this simple definition.
For most people, leadership qualities are something that a person is born with instead of acquired. While some are expected to be leaders, more often than not, leaders develop their leadership skills little by little with exposure and experience. It is even safe to say that leading people is a form of art that cannot be learned overnight.
What Is A Leader?
Leaders don’t always have to be in an authoritative position. Leaders are people who see and realize opportunities for improvement. Leaders drive others to work to achieve that goal.
A person becomes a leader if they have the willingness to think, act, and feel for others than themselves. A leader is someone who works to turn their vision into reality while still making people their top priority more than anything else.
Here are the key qualities of good leaders:
• Leaders always have enthusiasm and a positive attitude.
• Leaders see the bigger picture and are farsighted.
• Leaders are adaptable and open-minded.
• Leaders have excellent communication skills.
• Leaders motivate and inspire other people.
What Is A Manager?
Managers are tasked to plan, organize, direct, control, and coordinate an organization. A manager can delegate and implement team strategies or projects. Their key objective is to achieve results and to do it, managers establish guidelines, maintain power, and respond to unanticipated situations.
The five primary roles of managers include controlling, directing, organizing, planning, and staffing. The following are some of the top qualities of good managers:
• Managers are committed to reaching their objectives and goals.
• Managers are competent.
• Managers are disciplined when it comes to their responsibilities and tasks.
• Managers can focus on the key strengths of every member of the team.
• Managers can quickly make decisions during challenging situations.
Are All Managers A Leader And All Leaders A Manager?
It is quite common to wonder if management and leadership are just the same. However, the simple answer is no, not really.
Managing is all about administering people and executing plans to achieve goals, while leadership is about showing and guiding people towards the right direction.
Not all leaders can be a manager, but all managers should be a leader. Leaders focus on the organization’s overall functioning.
Meanwhile, as a manager, you must be familiar with the task down to its smallest details and handle day-to-day operations.
Managers are also expected to have some leadership skills for leading their team and reaching desired results. A manager is someone who motivates their employees, has a personal understanding, and drives them to perform better.