LEADERSHIP: Manager vs. Leader

So what is the difference between a Manager and a Leader?


Managers may have reasonable business acumen but lack the skills necessary to actually lead people. They tend to remain at the tactical level and perform reasonably when the status quo is maintained.


They tend to be static and robotic in their behavior as if they are working from an operators manual. This forces them to be reactive when problems arise and they typically need to consult their bosses often to determine resolution.


Managers lack people skills and often make a concerted effort to keep a barrier between them and their employees. They have no desire to socialize or spend any significant time with their employees. This results in a chasm that prevents employees from truly engaging in their roles and often results in employees who do as little as possible to meet the minimum requirements for the role. Employees do what they are told because they have to, but rarely go above and beyond these minimum requirements. This applies to working extra hours and developing a sense of urgency regarding project or task completion as well.


Manager is a title. Leadership is an active endeavor.


Leaders tend to spend more time at the strategic level as they’re well versed in effectively delegating the tactical tasks that don’t require their unique skill set. This approach also empowers their teams to assume responsibility where appropriate.


Leaders are independent and dynamic individuals who are constantly evolving themselves and their teams. Leaders exude positivity and by definition must have excellent people skills. They’re compassionate and genuinely care for the safety and well-being of their teams. This compassion is exhibited in their daily interaction with their team as well as everyone around them.


They operate with integrity and are motivated to serve the greater good. These traits earn them trust, admiration and loyalty from their teams. This motivates and inspires their teams to go above and beyond to meet their deadlines, to deliver excellence and to not let their leader and their team down under any circumstances.


Do you agree? Let me know what you think. I would love to hear your unique perspective.


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