I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard someone ask whats the difference between being a leader and being a manager. I basically reply – Leaders lead organizations while Managers manage processes.
Many times I’m asked to elaborate, so I have to break my explanation down a little more. I’ll explain Leaders provide the vision, philosophy and standards of the organization. They also set the example by practicing what he or she preaches. A managers will focus on following the business processes. They aren’t necessarily worried about the people that work for him/her.
Other identifiers of leaders and managers
- Leaders will set the goals while the manager will focus on their attainment.
- A Leader will look to earn the respect of the work force while the manager is focused on where they sit in the Org chart.
- Leaders develop their workers to build depth and future leaders for the organization. The manager will be threatened by competition.
- Exceptional leaders look to create a climate of innovation and achievement. The manger will just wish to focus on his/her own process.
- Finally, great leaders will create a culture of accountability by accepting responsibility for all that happens or fails to happen while managers will blame others for short comings.