How do you know if you are a manager or a leader?
There are few job titles with the word “leader” in them. Manager or Director (depending on your level of seniority) seem to be the titles of choice - Customer Services Manager, Finance Director, Marketing Manager, Human Resources Director, etc. Yet, the title is not an indication. Being a manager is as important as leadership. However, without leadership, you are missing a crucial element in business success – winning people’s hearts and minds.
Management can be thought of as being the ‘nuts and bolts’ of your role, with duties such as:
- Allocating resources
- Organising and co-ordinating
- Controlling and directing
- Measuring and evaluating
- Solving problems
- Short term thinking for managers, medium-term thinking for directors
- Managing systems and procedures
- Concerned with the “when” and “how”
All of these are absolutely essential and create a framework, structure and systems to achieve results which are monitored and course-corrected on a regular basis.
A leader, by contrast will be more of a visionary and will motivate and inspire people to follow. Their focus will be on the long-term and they will be concerned with:
- Establishing a vision
- Inspiring co-operation and trust
- Developing ideas and people
- Concerned with the “what” and “why”
Creating a vision will usually require change and a good leader will inspire the team to be motivated for that change which might otherwise be met with resistance. A leader paints a picture that people want to be part of and want to help make happen.
Managers deal with “shoulds” (the realms of necessity) while leaders deal with “coulds” (the realms of possibility).
Of course, leadership and management are not mutually exclusive. There is a lot of overlap between the two. A good leader will need good management qualities. A good manager will require good leadership qualities. If you tend to be a good leader but are not good at the planning, implementation and problem solving, it’s essential to have a very good, reliable and loyal team to do this for you. If you are a good manager without the leadership qualities, you will need a good leader managing you to help you pass on the vision to your team. Both skills can be learned and, with both skills, you will be a rounded professional contributing fully to the success of your team and your business.
And, to close, off, the wonderful Stephen Covey said “Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.” You have to have your vision right, otherwise you are managing the wrong things.
If you would like to have greater insight into your leadership and management skills, book a psychometric profile session. This helps overcome blind spots and highlights development opportunities for you. Call 0845 130 0854 to find out more.
© Tricia Woolfrey 2012
About Tricia Woolfrey - click HERE to find out about the author.