Leader vs. Manager: Important Differences You Should Be Aware About
Should a manager be a leader? Check 6 aspects that differentiate these roles and find out whether managers should embrace leadership.
Organizations try to blur the boundaries between positions, leveraging multitasking. The same goes for managers and leaders. Can you use these concepts interchangeably, or are these two fundamentally different roles? What is the main difference between a manager and a leader? Keep reading to find this out.
Comparing a Leader and Manager: Top 6 Differentiating Qualities
Check what characteristics and duties differentiate leaders and managers below.
Leaders Develop a Vision
Organizations often neglect the importance of long-term vision. Yet, 28% of successful companies have a highly developed leadership bench.
A leader is an individual who leads (hence the name) the organization or a group of people toward specific goals. Better yet, the leader sets the direction to follow. They define long-term goals and develop a vision of the organization.
A leader is a definition of a rock star. They motivate others and move forward like an ice breaker gets its way through the freezing sheerness of polar oceans. A leader finds the approaches to their employees and unites the team to achieve the company’s goals.
Leaders Take Risks to Introduce Innovations
A leader doesn’t mind taking risks (and failing) to fulfill their vision, as risks go hand in hand with innovations.
Take into account Elon Musk. He put all his investments into the dream of building a Mars colony back in the day. He was the first person to succeed in private space flights and fulfilled ideas no one else could think about.
If you do something no one has ever done before, you step into the unknown, increasing your chances of failing miserably. But there wouldn’t be any breakthroughs without risks.
Managers Focus on Short-Term Goals
A manager is an embodiment of a system, deadlines, tasks, and KPIs. It doesn’t sound as romantic and aspiring as being a leader. But managers are people who set everything in motion to fulfill the craziest, seemingly impossible ideas.
If you wanted to land the first human on Mars, what would you do first? You have to build an appropriate spaceship for that. But how can you do that? A manager deals with all the “hows” across the roadmap. Managers break the final goal into steps and accomplish them one by one until they achieve the endpoint.
Managers Make System Work
A manager scratches their head over the goal and comes up with a working system to fulfill it. It requires the following skills.
The manager is an individual who develops plans and strategies to deliver sensible results within specific time frames. Let’s get from space flights to content planning, for instance. A content manager develops content plans to increase sales, accumulate traffic, and get to the top search results pages. These are relatively short-term goals, like creating images here.
The content manager identifies content opportunities and leverages a guest posting service to grow organic traffic and build a strong backlink profile. If you do the same, you can go to Adsy, place backlinks in a few clicks, and get payments in the process.
Organizing is the process of making the right people do the right things to achieve specific goals. Managers are people who embrace these responsibilities.
A project manager distributes responsibilities across departments, like content or sales & marketing.
How to reduce the bounce rate of your landing page, and how to get writers to follow deadlines? Managers sweat over problems that pop up in the process. However, you shouldn’t become a nanny for your employees. Share some time management blogging tips with your writers and check their performance afterward.
Managers Implement Strategies
Managers develop strategies and implement them in the most efficient and fastest ways possible. For example, a marketing manager should gather user feedback before launching a new marketing campaign. Look here to learn more about the ways of optimizing this process. These responsibilities are inseparable from planning, performance assessment, delegating, and organizing.
Should a Manager Be a Leader?
Leadership often rests on managers’ shoulders. However, not every manager can be an inspiring leader, while some leaders can’t organize the team the right way to make things work.
On the contrary, managers often have to show some “leading” qualities. They have to motivate workers from time to time, arrange team-building events, take risks to implement new strategies, etc. Ideally, a manager should combine leadership with supervision to deliver the best results.
The Bottom Line
Leadership and management go hand in hand. Leaders and managers show different mindsets. A leader motivates and sets the direction, while a manager makes things work the right way. But in day-to-day activities, managers have to show leadership besides their regular duties.