The debate between leaders and managers is long in the limelight. The stakeholders are clearly divided into two segments, one is supporting leadership, and another is managerial activities.
Though there are equal perks and benefits of both styles, leadership is more charismatic and preferred by employees. However, only 14% of CEO believes that they have enough leadership qualities to lead people. There are several organizations spending billions on training their managers to convert into leaders.
There are many differences between leaders and managers, but the major is the followers. Leaders are the ones who make employees follow their footsteps by leading from the front. However, managers are the ones who force employees to work as per their requirements.
Let’s discuss some of the major differences between leaders and managers.
Leaders Work on Vision and Managers on Goals
The first and foremost difference between leaders and managers is in their vision. The leaders are habitual of working on the basis of their imagination. They envision what is beyond one’s imaginative limit and work tirelessly on this.
Basically, leaders work on activating people to be part of a larger picture instead of rotating in the same circle. They left their employees to work on their own and came up with the most innovative piece.
However, managers are focused on measuring the performance of employees. They are more interested in documented activities and prefer that employees work on their own. Therefore, in the managerial system, creative people feel suffocated.
Managers Copy System, While Leaders, Make Their Own
Moving from the vision, the next bone of contention is following the organizational system. Leaders own a reputation in organizations as disruptors; they are not fond of following a patterned system or procedure.
The major reason for this is that they work on innovation. Even if the system is working adequately, they will try to make it better. Leaders are more experimental in nature and hence, kept on shifting things.
On the contrary, managers are not found of change in business. They do not perceive change as beneficial and prefer to stick to traditional methods. Until and unless the system is working, it is fine for the managers.
Leaders are Agent of Change, and Managers are bounded
The leasers are not willing to follow any sequence or procedure, as their innovative mind works in a different pattern. Leaders are always in their role and depict their original personalities. These people are enough self-awarded to rebuild their personalities and become a brand of personality.
Being comfortable in your own show and eagerness to stand distinct from others is the new normal of leaders. They follow a transparent system, and this quality is most preferred by the employees.
The managers, on the other hand, prefer mimicking the necessary skill set. They mimic the competent behavior they have learnt during their early years and embed these behaviors everywhere. It is beneficial in a way that they can change their behaviors in different situations, as per the requirement or nature of employees.
Managers think for Short-Term and Leaders Envision Long-Term
The core difference that makes a leader more preferred by entrepreneurial organizations is the long-term vision. Leaders have intention in their minds, and they work according to that intention. There all the action plans and steps are drafted as per the need to achieve that intention.
The managers also have intention in their mind, but they are of the shorter term. They plan on a monthly or tri-monthly basis, as they are working on numbers only.
Leaders take Risks, and Managers Avoid it
Leaders are recognized because of their risk-taking capabilities. They are always willing to take the risk, even if they fail. This is because failure is always considered as learning opportunity by leaders. Many leaders become a leader when they take greater risk and make their organization work on that risk.
However, managers are not much interested in taking a risk. As they are more interested in working on patterned procedures, they usually avoid risk. Moreover, managers work on minimizing the risk in any organization to assure smooth functioning.
Leaders Craft Relationship, Managers Build Process
The leaders are more focused on their employees rather than any other element. Leaders are required to influence every stakeholder in order to follow their vision. They are more interested in weaving a strong and strengthen the relationship with their stakeholders by delivering their promise.
In comparison to leaders, managers are inclined towards process crafting. They invest their time in making processes and gauging their employees. Managers operate according to function and for the function in every organization.
Managers are Dependent Upon Limited Skills
The major point of difference between managers and leaders is the dependency upon skillset. Leaders are believed to be in a continuous process of learning. They are not dependent upon the limited skill sets that they have.
The leaders are in a continuous striving to comply with the modern requirements and continuously evolving technology. Therefore, the learning process of leaders is never-ending.
However, managers doubt learning new skills and stick to the same skill set that they have for ages. This is why the majority of their strategies become obsolete with the passage of time. Managers have Employees, and Leaders have Followers
The effective strategies and inspiring behavior of leaders enable them to motivate others. Their followers jump from the designation of followers to the fans, promoting their brand and supporting in the achievement of goals. The majority of visibility and popularity that leaders gain is because of the word of mouth of their fans.
On the contrary, managers do not have any concept of fan following or a strong relationship. They only have employees with whom they have a professional relationship. This can also be because; managers are focused on pleasing bosses rather than supporting employees, which weakens their relationship with subordinates and team members.
Leaders Lead, Managers Manage
The leaders are designated to lead from the front. They work themselves to find the answers to any difficult thing. They do not prefer to put employees at the front in case of emergency or difficulty. They believe in the accomplishment and skillset of their employees and make them believe too.
However, the managers are not found with any such quality. All of them are focused on measuring the skillset of their employees by using different ways, other than giving them a commanding position. They will guide you to find the answers but will never do it for you. The managerial system is completely dependent upon employees.
Key Similarities in Leaders and Managers
Despite the above-mentioned major difference between leaders and managers. There are certain traits that are similar among them. These similarities are necessary for organizational development. Following are some common traits in managers and leaders;
- Vision: Both of them should be aware of the organizational objectives and action plan to achieve that plan.
- Integrity: It is necessary to withhold honesty and integrity to make employees believe and follow you.
- Challenging: They should be able to face challenges and remain strong in a challenging situation.
- Inspiration: You should inspire your team and make them believe in the organizational process and functions. Make them envision their role in the bigger picture.
- Effective Communicator: Use effective communication channels to inform your employees. Communicate with them frequently to inform them regarding your journey and achievements.
Wrapping it up
The executive position is crucial for the success of any industry. These are the individuals responsible for implementing the business plan and functionality of the organization towards success. The debate between leaders and managers is undecided in the majority of cases.
Leasers are considered as more positive individuals working for the growth of individuals and organizations. On the contrary, managers are portrayed as working only for the growth and prosperity of the organization. Both styles have their own perks and benefits depending upon the situation.
However, the leaders are more preferred in an executive position due to their intellect and strive of learning. I hope the difference that I have mentioned above will be enough to depict both styles distinguishably.
Amanda Jerelyn is currently working as a Content Executive at Crowd Writer. She is a dedicated writer and a passionate business administrator. Her expertise and dedication are visible from her blogs.