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10 Indicators That Distinguish Leaders From Managers

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Being a manager is a job title that comes with an assigned role to be fulfilled, given from the top management. Leadership, on the other hand, is earned and fought for. It takes time and genuine effort for one to be seen as a leader. A leader doesn’t need to be appointed to a post to get that role. Although this can be an unofficial title, it comes with a lot of responsibility.

It is important to know the distinguishing factors between being a leader and being a manager. Here are some of the indicators.

1. Leaders inspire while managers operate

Leaders are meant to trigger a movement and inspire people to take action. Managers enforce rules and make sure orders are carried out. There is more flexibility with leadership, as the main purpose is to get people to be motivated enough to do what is required of them. Being a manager requires no real flexibility — it is an act of operation.

2. Leaders have followers while managers have employees

There is actually an organizational structure for managers where they take charge of the activities of employees. It all depends on how large the organization and the functionality present in it. However, leaders go a step further to win and gain a following. This may take a lot of strong characteristics on their part because it does take a lot of personality to attract others to follow you.

3. Leaders persuade while managers communicate

Managers are part of a chain of communication. They act to channel the voice of their superiors to the employees. However, leaders have a voice of their own and thus persuade others. Their style of communication is meant to sway others into seeing reason behind their goals and objectives.

4. Leaders help others to become heroes while managers try to be the heroes

You can’t be in two places at once. Leaders don’t try to be the heroes of an organization or of a situation. They want to help others gain functionality and be the best they can be. Being a manager, on the other hand, can bring on more selfish motives.

5. Leaders take responsibility while managers take credit

Managers gain credit for their work. They are acknowledged and offered something immediate for their efforts. However, leaders take responsibility and are accountable towards their team and to the greater success of the project or task at hand.

6. Leaders create teams while managers direct groups

Leaders earn their following and then do well to weave this team around a central purpose. Managers do well to assign activities or assignments to a number of persons within an organizational structure, without giving them the same sense of working toward a central purpose.

7. Leaders develop power with people while managers exercise power over people

With leadership, there is always a connection to your followers. Such connections mean that your power over them is not centralized but also dependent on your followers views of you. However, managers exercise the power they have over their employees without developing that deeper connection.

8. Leaders implement great ideas while managers have great ideas

Ideas are generated by managers, but their power and functionality is limited when it comes to actual implementation. Leaders may not generate great ideas, but they are great at implementing such great ideas.

9. Leaders create change while managers react to change

Leaders work towards making a change since they have the vision and the foresight to make that change happen. Managers, on the other hand, are victims of change since their role is static and fixed.

10. Leaders lead people while managers perform a task

Leadership is emotional and appeals to the human emotions or attitude. Managers have a duty or a task to fulfill. They work and are rarely concerned about other people’s feelings or emotions about the job they have to do.

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