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10 Indicators That Distinguish Leaders From Managers

10 Indicators That Distinguish Leaders From Managers

Being a manager is a job title that comes with an assigned role to be fulfilled, given from the top management. Leadership, on the other hand, is earned and fought for. It takes time and genuine effort for one to be seen as a leader. A leader doesn’t need to be appointed to a post to get that role. Although this can be an unofficial title, it comes with a lot of responsibility.

It is important to know the distinguishing factors between being a leader and being a manager. Here are some of the indicators.

1. Leaders inspire while managers operate

Leaders are meant to trigger a movement and inspire people to take action. Managers enforce rules and make sure orders are carried out. There is more flexibility with leadership, as the main purpose is to get people to be motivated enough to do what is required of them. Being a manager requires no real flexibility — it is an act of operation.

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2. Leaders have followers while managers have employees

There is actually an organizational structure for managers where they take charge of the activities of employees. It all depends on how large the organization and the functionality present in it. However, leaders go a step further to win and gain a following. This may take a lot of strong characteristics on their part because it does take a lot of personality to attract others to follow you.

3. Leaders persuade while managers communicate

Managers are part of a chain of communication. They act to channel the voice of their superiors to the employees. However, leaders have a voice of their own and thus persuade others. Their style of communication is meant to sway others into seeing reason behind their goals and objectives.

4. Leaders help others to become heroes while managers try to be the heroes

You can’t be in two places at once. Leaders don’t try to be the heroes of an organization or of a situation. They want to help others gain functionality and be the best they can be. Being a manager, on the other hand, can bring on more selfish motives.

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5. Leaders take responsibility while managers take credit

Managers gain credit for their work. They are acknowledged and offered something immediate for their efforts. However, leaders take responsibility and are accountable towards their team and to the greater success of the project or task at hand.

6. Leaders create teams while managers direct groups

Leaders earn their following and then do well to weave this team around a central purpose. Managers do well to assign activities or assignments to a number of persons within an organizational structure, without giving them the same sense of working toward a central purpose.

7. Leaders develop power with people while managers exercise power over people

With leadership, there is always a connection to your followers. Such connections mean that your power over them is not centralized but also dependent on your followers views of you. However, managers exercise the power they have over their employees without developing that deeper connection.

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8. Leaders implement great ideas while managers have great ideas

Ideas are generated by managers, but their power and functionality is limited when it comes to actual implementation. Leaders may not generate great ideas, but they are great at implementing such great ideas.

9. Leaders create change while managers react to change

Leaders work towards making a change since they have the vision and the foresight to make that change happen. Managers, on the other hand, are victims of change since their role is static and fixed.

10. Leaders lead people while managers perform a task

Leadership is emotional and appeals to the human emotions or attitude. Managers have a duty or a task to fulfill. They work and are rarely concerned about other people’s feelings or emotions about the job they have to do.

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Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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