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The success of an organization is dependent on leaders and managers. Excellent leaders and brilliant managers are the backbones of the most successful entities and nations. Can one be a great leader and a good manager? Leadership and management are distinct in several ways.

Influence and control

A manager instructs their subordinates on how things should be done. They plan the details of execution and sets the necessary rules to meet expectations. On the other hand, a leader gives their followers encouragement to do their best so that as a team they can achieve the vision. Leaders set the direction, inspire and motivate the followers to align themselves with the vision.

Long-term and short-term thinking

Leaders have a vision and their main role is to define it to the followers. The team members can contribute their opinions about the mission and the vision. Their aim is not just today but the future. They challenge the status quo and are bound to break rules for the good of the team. They give room for new growth, foster new ideas, and creativity. They take risks as long as they feel it is the right thing to do. Managers focus on running the day to day tasks, they have objectives of accomplishing a goal. They insist on doing the right thing in the right way. Managers concentrate more on what the team can do or should do today. They tend to minimize risk and accept the status quo. Managers give approval when things are done according to the laid down plan.

What are the traits of a manager?

  • Executes a vision by having strategies that are geared towards the vision.
  • Effectively delegates tasks to the subordinates.
  • Establishes the processes, procedures, rules, and standards.
  • Works hard to navigate any obstacles that may hinder the objectives.
  • Anticipates the needs of the team, reviews the resources needed and restructures his model if need be.

What are the characteristics that make a good leader?

  • Excellent communicators- they need to make the followers understand them.
  • Handle changes and ensure the team is not distracted away from the vision.
  • Create lasting relationship by valuing those they work with employees, partners, and customers.

Though the two words are used interchangeably, it is clear that they are different. An individual with some managerial and leadership trait is an asset to any organization.