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7 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Real Leadership and Good Management

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7 Ways To Tell The Difference Between Real Leadership and Good Management

People often wrongly assume that management and leadership are synonyms. Nothing could be further from the truth. The roles and responsibilities of a leader and a manager are quite different. Here are 7 examples to show you that they are like chalk and cheese.

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker, Essential Drucker: Management, the Individual and Society

1. A manager deals with tasks while a leader develops relationships

A manager has to deal with day to day tasks when running the business. These can be anything from budget control, staff training, customer service or introducing a new product. The manager will be focusing on deadlines and procedures. Many of these are used as benchmarks for measuring success.

A leader will be focused on empowering people within the organization and cultivating influential contacts outside the company. He or she will spend much time and energy in motivating staff.

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2. A manager will rarely think outside the box while a leader will engineer change

A leader is concerned with a vision for the company and will be looking to the future. Leaders know that change may be vital for stability in an uncertain economy.

Steve Jobs was highly regarded as a leader because his focus and vision were always to the forefront in his company. He was constantly on the look out for great talent which could help him put that vision into practice. It is said that Jobs interviewed over 5,000 applicants during his life.

Managers tend to work within the limits set by project descriptions and individual job plans and will rarely recommend change. Managers need to have excellent people skills which are all focused on getting the job done with the minimum of friction.

3. A leader seeks to empower while a manager looks to micro manage

A leader will see empowered employees as an asset to the company. He or she does not see them as a threat when they take initiative and run a risk.

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Managers, on the other hand, prefer to delegate and micro manage so that they still maintain control. They also want to preserve the status quo rather than go outside the boundaries.

4. A manager will maintain systems while a leader will inspire followers

The leader’s role is to gain followers by influencing them. This is the only way to move people forward in line with your vision.

A manager can rarely play that role as he or she will be focused on getting tasks done within guidelines and deadlines.

5. A leader will use emotional intelligence while a manager may be less aware

Daniel Goleman has written an interesting article entitled The Focused Leader in which he highlights the role of emotional intelligence in great leadership. He says that the key to emotional intelligence is self awareness. This helps to develop empathy, motivation, social skills and self-control which will be key in effective leadership.

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Many managers will also possess emotional intelligence (EQ) which they will use in managing employees with tact and sensitivity. However, some mangers are unaware of how crucial EQ is and tend to veer towards analytical thinking and technical skills as measures of achievement.

6. A leader will exploit opportunities while a manager avoids risk

There is always a risk in seizing an opportunity. The successful leader will instinctively be able to assess the target market, the resources required and also what the level of risk is involved. She or he will be able to build on a crisis knowing that the hard times often provide great opportunities.

Managers tend to avoid risk. They are much more concerned with helping employees reach their potential and also making sure that their objectives are met.

7. A leader needs much more charisma than a manager

If a leader can use empathy, social sensitivity and relate easily to others while displaying intelligence and charm, then she or he is considered to be charismatic. Using eye contact, appropriate touching and displaying warmth and interest through active listening; these are the marks of a charismatic person.

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Now, whether you are a manager or a leader, why not try the charisma quiz and see what your score is.

We have identified the roles and responsibilities of managers and leaders. Often, it is not so cut and dried. The roles of managers and leaders often overlap and there are many managers who are doubling up as leaders when the latter are failing to take the lead!

Featured photo credit: Sustainability for Leaders/ The Natural Step Canada . via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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