What Separates Leaders From Managers?
Some of the best managers are also good leaders, but that doesn’t make the terms interchangeable. Holding a management position doesn’t automatically turn you into a good leader. It takes a specific set of skills to get the most out of your team and achieve the desired outcome. Here are the four main differences that separate leaders from managers.
Managers focus on systems and structure, while leaders focus on people. Solid systems might set a company up for success, but it’s the people that produce the results. Leaders understand this, so they invest time and effort into building meaningful relationships with their team. They find out what makes their people tick, what motivates them, and use this information to push them toward their individual goals. Managers tinker with systems and processes to achieve the desired results. They might work with their employees to achieve an outcome, but these are typically company-oriented goals.
Managers react to trends and results, while leaders anticipate them. Managers follow their instructions and react to whatever the results are, but this approach keeps them one step behind the innovators. Leaders anticipate trends and stay ahead of the curve. They embrace risk, but are proactive with their approach. Leaders take problems head on because they have the confidence to overcome any obstacle with their team.
Managers rely on what they know, while leaders are unique and innovative. Leaders aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo and approach a situation from a different perspective. They’re willing to take risks, aim to learn something new every day, and want to deliver a product or service people haven’t seen before. Managers typically stick to what they know and may even copy methods that they have seen work in the past. They often want to sharpen existing skills as opposed to adopting new ones.
Managers direct their employees, while leaders empower them. Managers typically govern an office by a set of rules and everyone stays within their assigned role. In this type of environment, employees are more reluctant to take initiative and tend to look to their manager for direction. Leaders inspire their team by allowing individuals to take chances and push the envelope. When leaders encourage individuals to work outside their comfort zone, it makes everyone on the team better. This type of atmosphere turns employees into fans who want to follow their leader and break new ground together.
Most people aren’t born leaders. It takes a lot of practice to gain the necessary skills to lead a successful group of professionals. Bongo is purpose-built to develop and improve soft skills like leadership and communication. For more information on how our video-based platform can help your students or team of professionals learn these soft skills, visit Bongo’s website.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]