The difference between a leader and a manager is subtle yet distinctive. In fact, there are several differences that many people overlook since they seem overlapping. The fact of the matter is, a good manager may not necessarily be a good leader, while a good leader is always a good manager. Leaders are charismatic individuals inspiring others to follow them, while managers manage a group of people purely based on their position. This article will further the Management vs Leadership debate, outlying how the two differ from one another.
Managing from the shadows vs Leading from the front
While the role of managers and leaders may be similar, the way they act defines them. A manager will remain in the shadows and let his subordinates do the grunt work while he manages them. A leader, however, leads from the front and gives others an example to follow. Seeing the enthusiasm and work ethic in a leader, followers feel inspired and are motivated to do the same. Thus, a leader can say that he worked with his team to make a difference, while a manager says he made his team make a difference.
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Power vs Influence
Leadership and management are quite different in terms of power dynamics as well. A manager exerts his or her power over a group, making them follow orders. These subordinates do so because of a natural hierarchal structure that is present in their respective organizations. Hence, employees are more or less forced to follow these orders, implying a system of power is being acted on. In leadership, however, there exists an aspect of influence. Through his or her charisma and leadership qualities, a leader is able to exert influence on their people. This in term inspires people to follow the leader and o as he does. It is interesting to note, however, that this influence of a leader is his or her source of power. For a manager, the source of power is the system that they operate in.
Dominance vs Inclusion
Management vs Leadership means Dominance vs Inclusion. A leader considers himself or herself as part of a team, while a manager considers themselves better than the team they possess. Being a dominating figure, managers give orders and act superior to maintain their dominance. A leader, however, tends to promote a more inclusive atmosphere in the team. This may be in terms of decision making or giving credit, but a leader will never hogg all the limelight for work his or her team has done. Humility, teamwork, and inclusivity are after all hallmarks of a great leader.
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Counting Value vs Adding value
This may be considered one of the biggest differences between a leader and a manager. A leader will always add value to a project, while a manager will count the value added by others. A leader will tend to create value over and above what his or her team creates, leading to an overall value-added service or product. They may do this by trusting people to do their own work and giving them autonomy while focusing on their own part. A manager, however, in their incessant need to control everything and everyone may even end up reducing value. Workers and employees may not feel trusted and may end up producing sub-optimal work. A leader would find a balance that would maintain his or her authority while also making others feel at home.
Management vs Leadership is a unique concept with a few subtle differences. One must always strive to a be good leader rather than a manager. This is because a good leader is always a good manager, while a good manager may not necessarily be a good leader. As Bill Gates quite rightly said: “As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
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