Who is a leader, Difference between Manager and Leader

Leaders and managers are most interchangeably used words as synonymous in business,  while these two roles have many common elements however, they differ in many aspects. Imagine a situation where your team  struck in a thick forest where you don’t know where to go, what to do! which direction leads to the nearest human habitat, then your leader sets the direction to walk, the person who sets the direction is the leader and the one follows his instruction is a manager. Now you could be leader or a manager depending on your ability to handle the situation and drive to success.

This article would helps you to know who is the real leader and understand the difference between the manager and leader. This should  help you  understand where you stand on these leadership aspects and show some pointers to work on.

Who is a leader ?

True leaders are the one whom people follow, because of the charisma they carries around them and the value what they stand for. The classic live example for a great leader  could be our Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi. The person who inspires and motivates people and show passion and commitment to drive people around common objectives  is a leader. Leader may or may not have a formal authority on followers however they influences the decision of the followers through  good conduct and stands for value.

In an organizational context people who are at CXO or Senior management level  can be consider as a leadership role. However ,there is no guarantee that all the Sr management people are leaders, many of them not even qualify to be a mangers. Leadership is all about driving success through trust and inspiration to bring people to do what they are set to do. All successful people challenge the status quo and able to find innovative solutions to new challenges.

Leaders will have a long term vision and think about the strategic move then solving immediate fire fighting which is more of a manager’s job.Leaders will have to be fearless and challenge the current performance of the organization, they have to be passionate about the companies value and what they stand for. A good leader always stands in front of the challenge, be it in a battle  ground or in corporate environment, they take charge and drive with passion.

Who is a manager ?

A person who is responsible for a execution of plans is called manager. Typically manager will have to carry out four important functions of management, that is Planning, Organizing and Executing and Controlling.  Manager’s role also needs leadership qualities to perform the activities and drive people to do the work. Managers will have subordinates to carry out the work . Its a kind of control and command environment.  Manager may or may not be a great leader however leaders are considered to be a good managers. So let’s look at the real difference in bullet points without beating around the bush..

Difference between manager and leader example

  1. Trust drives Leaders and Process drives Managers
  2. Leaders drives Organisational Values Managers drives Quantity
  3. Leaders focuses on Long Term Managers focus on Projects
  4. Innovation is Hallmark of leadership, Managers administers
  5. Leaders drives Change. Managers drive defined Process
  6. Leader focuses on People and Culture Managers focus on System and Structure
  7. Leader does the Right Thing whereas managers focus on making Things Right
  8. Leadership  is free voluntary Manager is command and control environment

By explaining the difference between management and leadership one can get  fair idea of where they  stand currently when they apply SWOT analysis.

Though many of the leadership skills are inborn, we do believe through consistent effort one can acquire required skills and  become a leader. If you really want to grow up from Manager to a leadership role you need to really work hard and take up every challenges comes on your way and turn that into opportunity to show your leadership skills. Remember leadership is all about  how you carry yourself and motivates people around you to come and join you and work for common goal. This needs a lot of maturity, Leadership skills and hard work from your side.

We all have some qualities of leadership built in, we need to develop some more to become a complete leader. Fancy corporate designations may give you some false sense of leadership however it will not make you a real leader.What make you real leader is Value you stand for, people around you belive in your idea and approach and your ability to make them work towards common goal and achieve organisational objectives. Leaders will have to take tough decisions all the time and choose untrodden paths in their journey.

Also read on : How to become an effective  Manager

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