Are you a manager or a leader? Let me tell you something – they are not one and the same! Despite popular belief, managers and leaders are quite different. This question may seem simple, but the answer can reveal a lot about your approach to both your personal and professional life. While both roles involve overseeing employees and making important decisions, there are significant differences between the two.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about the qualities that make a manager or a leader, as well as the struggles that many managers face and freedoms that leaders enjoy. So, buckle up, grab a cup of coffee, and let’s delve deeper into the world of management and leadership.
First things first – let’s define what makes a manager and a leader different. A manager is someone who focuses on day-to-day operations, ensuring that tasks are accomplished, and goals are met. In other words, they are inwardly focused, with an emphasis on accomplishing their own personal goals of creating organizational efficiency. On the other hand, a leader is someone who inspires and motivates their team, leading them towards a shared vision. They look beyond simply meeting goals and are outwardly focused, with an emphasis on the big picture and long-term success and inspire and motivate their team to achieve their full potential.
One of the main differences between managers and leaders is also in the way they react to struggles. A manager may struggle with internal issues, again making them more inwardly focused. One common struggle is negativity, whether it’s negativity from team members or from within themselves. This can lead to a lack of motivation and a pessimistic attitude towards work. Another struggle is the inner critic, that little voice in your head that tells you that you’re not good enough. Imposter syndrome is also a common struggle, where managers feel like they are not qualified or competent enough to be in their position. Lack of time management skills can lead to overwhelming feelings, making it difficult to get everything done. The list of management struggles goes on and on!
A leader, on the other hand, has learned to manage these internal struggles and is therefore able to be more outwardly focused, and uses their experiences to empathize with and motivate their team. Leaders enjoy many freedoms from learning to manage, master, and release these internal and external struggles. Effective prioritization is one such freedom, where leaders are able to focus on what’s important and delegate tasks accordingly. They know their purpose and are intentional with their actions, leading to a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. Leaders also have the freedom to think long-term, focusing on the bigger picture rather than the day-to-day operations.
Effective prioritization is another key difference. While a manager may focus on tasks that need to be done typically focusing on the short-term, a leader knows how to prioritize tasks that will contribute to the overall success of the team and the company for the long-term. They have a clear vision of their purpose, and every decision is made with that vision in mind.
Leaders also know how to be intentional in their actions. They understand that every decision they make has a ripple effect on their team and the company as a whole. They take the time to analyze the impact of their decisions and communicate their reasoning to their team to foster trust and confidence.
Finally, there’s the matter of ego versus spirit. While managers may be bogged down by their egos, a leader has learned to put the needs of the team and the company above their own. They know how to listen and collaborate with those around them, encouraging open dialogue and diverse perspectives.
So, how do you know if you’re a manager or a leader? It all comes down to your approach to your role. Do you prioritize tasks or people? Are you motivated by personal gain or do you have a clear vision of your purpose? Do you let your ego guide you or do you listen to the needs of your team?
Here is a list of some qualities that make a good manager and a good leader that may help you make that distinction as well:
Qualities of a Good Manager:
- Organization: A good manager is able to keep things organized and ensure that tasks are completed in a timely manner.
- Efficiency: A good manager is able to maximize productivity and efficiency, ensuring that resources are used to their fullest potential.
- Communication: A good manager is able to communicate effectively with team members, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
- Adaptability: A good manager is able to adapt to changing circumstances and new challenges, ensuring that tasks are still completed effectively.
- Responsibility: A good manager is able to take responsibility for their actions and decisions, ensuring that they are accountable for their work.
- Qualities of a Good Leader:
- Visionary: A good leader is able to create a vision for the future and inspire others to work towards achieving it.
- Courageous: A good leader is able to take risks and make difficult decisions, even in the face of adversity.
- Empathy: A good leader is able to understand and relate to team members, creating a sense of trust and respect.
- Intentional: A good leader is intentional with their actions and decisions, ensuring that they align with their values and purpose.
- Creativity: A good leader is able to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to challenges.
Now to be clear, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with being a manager versus being a leader. I’m simply attempting to create awareness that they are not one in the same as many people seem to believe. And honestly, this misconception is what creates so many struggles and problems for these critical roles in businesses and in our societies.
Now that you know the differences and the qualities of a manager and a leader, take some time to reflect on your own strengths and areas for improvement. Are you more of a manager or a leader? What can you do to harness your unique talents and become the best version of yourself? Remember, your journey towards becoming a leader is unique – embrace it and let your talents shine!
Remember, leadership is not about having all the answers, but rather, knowing how to inspire and empower those around you to achieve greatness. So, which will you choose to be? A manager or a leader? The choice is yours.
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**If you’re looking to transition from managing to leading, it’s time to embark on your unique leader transformation journey. Check out our “Being a Manager Doesn’t Make You a Leader – A Manager’s Essential Guide to Not Just Managing but Truly Leading” EBook and start taking the steps to embark on your unique leader transformation journey and become the leader your team needs and the leader you are meant to be.**