Jun 19

Leader or Manager? What Is The Difference?

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Leadership can make or break an organization. A manager is not necessarily the leader. Leaders aren’t always good managers. Every now and then, they are the same person. Are you a manager, leader or both?

Manager

When I use the title of manager, I refer to that person who is in an official capacity with the authority to give direction. They may be President, Director etc. 

bossManaging is difficult. There needs to be an understanding of operational needs like cash flow and human resources. You may need to understand logistics, the movement of people and product to make sure you are able to deliver a service or product cost effectively and on time. Good managers have to be able to analyze their world and organize everything around them so that everything connects. It’s like being really good at putting puzzles together. You have to be able to see the big picture, identify how all the pieces fit and then be able to figure out how to get the pieces to come together.

A really good manager will recognize their own strengths and weaknesses. Then they find the right people to support them. Sometimes, this means hiring someone with great leadership skills to help get everyone on board and make things happen. 

(I recommend reading John C. Maxwell’s “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”. He does a great job of breaking down the difference between management and leadership.)

Leader

This is the person that a group believes sets the standard of behaviour. They may have little to no official authority but command respect and demonstrate how things should be done through their consistent behaviour.

Great Leaders - webHave you ever worked somewhere that when you needed a decision from management, there was that special person that was able to get management to make a change? Look around your workplace and see if you can find them. These are the people that others seem to go to for help with problems, not necessarily always work related. These are the people with the most influence.You know that if anything is to change, you need to get their attention and buy in.  People seem to naturally follow them. These are the true leaders. 

(I recommend reading Robin Sharma’s “The Leader Who Had No Title”. He does a great job breaking down the attributes of real leaders.)

Leadership

Great leadership is what happens with managers learn to lead. This may mean knowing when to follow!

You need to earn the respect of people under your direction. I remember when I first started making the move to management, my manager said “Always remember the three F’s. Fair, Firm and Friendly. In that order! He was a store manager in a large grocery chain who had declined the opportunity to move to higher corporate levels of management. God knows, corporate tried to promote him because that manager always had the ability to take the worst operating store and make it the most successful in the company. He shifted the focus from product to people and then the people made things happen.

Will you be a manager, a leader or both? The choice is yours to make. Find a great leader to follow and model in order to become the leader you want to be!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for opportunities to grow. I’m thankful for great leaders willing to teach. I’m thankful for God in my life.

What are you thankful for today?

 

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