The differences between leaders and managers have been debated by academics and the business world for decades – but what are they?
Well, the traditional line of thought is that leadership skills are distinct from management in several key ways.
While managers may be excellent at administration and following procedures, leaders are visionaries who want to shake up existing processes.
This means they are more likely to come up with innovative ideas and develop new ways of working.
Leaders are people-driven
Leaders aim to inspire people and focus their attention on motivating staff to improve personal performances.
Managers concentrate on processes and emphasise bottom-line results.
Leaders aren’t afraid to take risks
Managers tend to be risk averse, instead relying on tried and tested methods for achieving outcomes.
Leaders often take risks, believing that the positives results of trying new processes outweigh the downsides of failing.
Leaders think long-term
Leaders like to look ahead, hoping that their actions will have long-term positive consequences on the organisation they work for.
Good managers are usually focused on the immediate future, ensuring workers and projects are completed to budget and on schedule.
Is it better to be a leader or a manager?
While most people would prefer to see themselves as a leader rather than a manager, the truth is that both of these roles are required in a successful organisation.
Too many leaders and the business may become disorganised, backlogged and too focused on abstract concepts.
On the other hand, without leadership development a company can quickly become stagnant – foregoing innovation and blue-sky thinking in favour of formulaic processes.
Not only are staff members likely to lose motivation in this environment, it becomes difficult to compete with rivals that have more vision and agility.
Are you looking to improve your leadership skills and ability to lead teams, influence strategically and deliver results? Register your interest for the Achieving High Performance Leadership course.