Every organisation has a manager, or an individual who supervises others in their team.
However, most of these companies do not have a leader, in its truest sense of the world.
A leader, by definition, is a person who “leads” others, not simply a boss who oversees their employees’ work and provides instruction.
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management explains the main contrast by stating that “the manager’s job is to plan, organise and coordinate.
The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate.”
In this article, we will provide the differences between a true leader and a simple manager to inspire all employers to lead their teams.
Innovation Versus The Status Quo
The manager is typically trained in the standards and procedures of the company they work in, they must learn the rules, the aspects of the corporate culture and the expected ways of doing things.
While implementing these items in their own job, they train and oversee their own employees in doing the same things.
Their job is to maintain a status quo, whether it be a production rate, sales figures or work outputs.
A leader, on the other hand, aspires to innovate existing procedures to make them faster, better and more efficient.
This individual doesn’t believe in following the rules to the tee, and instead thinks outside the box to come up with creative solutions that excite their team.
People Versus Tasks
A regular manager concentrates on tasks that need to be done, they assign to do lists to staff, explain the procedures, set due dates, evaluate the work and provide feedback.
Their main area of concern is that the job gets done, and they focus on responsibilities and how best to delineate them.
A leader focuses on people rather than on what needs to get done.
They concentrate on the employees’ strength and weaknesses, and carefully think about what tasks need to be delineated to what employee to help them learn and grow in their professional roles.
They collaborate with staff members to discuss responsibilities, ask for input on the best course of action, and encourage employees to volunteer for what tasks they want to take on.
Empowerment Versus Power
A supervisor believes that they have control over their staff because they respect him or her, but that is often not the case.
The employees listen to the employer because they hold the power over their job, chance at a promotion and salary.
They are often forced to follow the manager or risk getting reprimanded or demoted.
A leader takes on a completely different approach; they don’t control their team but rather empower the staff members to do their jobs independently and productively.
A true leader will never say, “Do this because I say so;” instead, they will explain how any task fits into the bigger picture of the mission of the company.
They will make each worker feel important and realise how their contributions affect the entire organisation.
By helping their employees realise their potential and teach them skills needed to succeed, leaders empower their staff to do their best without making them do things for fear of losing their job.
Head of Training and Development
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Mark Williams is a learning and development professional, using business psychology and multiple intelligences to create fascinating and quickly-identifiable learning initiatives in the real-world business setting. Mark’s role at MTD is to ensure that our training is leading edge, and works closely with our trainers to develop the best learning experiences for all people on learning programmes. Mark designs and delivers training programmes for businesses both small and large and strives to ensure that MTD’s clients are receiving the very best training, support and services that will really make a difference to their business.