The Difference Between a Manager and a Leader
What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
Don’t both have the responsibility of ensuring people are at the right place at the right time doing whatever they are meant to be doing? There is a world of difference between managers and leaders. People in both categories are in positions of responsibilities and are normally held accountable for the actions of others. But between leaders and managers, there are differences in terms of approach and outlook.
Managers React to Change; Leaders Create Change
Leaders are game changers and pioneers. They are the people who will start a new trend or set a new standard. They are the ones who will be at the forefront of innovation. Managers on the other hand will position themselves to make the best of the changes around them. They will ask questions like, ‘what is the best strategy to apply given this new market trend?’ or, ‘how can we use this new innovation to best position our company?’ leaders create change while managers react to it.
Managers Think Short Term; Leaders Think Long Term
A manager works from one project to the next, seeing the execution of the day to day tasks is done accordingly so as to accomplish a specified goal set for the near future. A leader will think more on long term goals; he/she will look at the bigger picture without delving into minutiae. Leaders will focus on how today’s choice will impact on the next generation or how current trends will evolve over a life time. Managers on the other hand think of the here and now and what’s best for now.
Managers Impart Instructions; Leaders Write the Instructions
A manager has to ensure that directives are followed by the members of his or her team. But the directives that managers give more often than not come from someone else. While a manager will just pass down a directive and see how its execution is done, a leader on the other hand will be the one to create this directive.
Managers Enforce the Rules; Leaders Make the Rules
Leaders are the rule makers while managers are the enforcers. Wherever a leader goes, he or she will bring change with him and rewrite the known rules. Managers on the other hand, find the rules and use them as they are to ensure that everybody does what they are told to do. When rules are broken, the manager has the responsibility of meeting out what he deems to be a fair punishment.
Managers Command Respect; Leaders Raise Loyalty
A leader stands out because they arouse people to action. People follow leaders because they are inspired by them and believe in them. A manager is someone whom people take instructions from because they have to. A manager may command respect from his team but only a true leader arouses loyalty in his team. People do things for managers because they have to and are obligated to, but they do things for leaders because they desire to and are happy to be of service.