Some may think that being a manager for a company means that they are a leader automatically, but it takes determination to be a manager with great leadership skills. Managers assign tasks to their staff and expect those tasks to get done without question. Leaders assign tasks and define a purpose for those tasks to get done. An article that I came across from The Wall Street Journal called “What is the Difference Between Management and Leadership?” gave a list of what managers and leaders do differently. Here are the points from the article:
1. The manager maintains; the leader develops.
2. The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
3. The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
4. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
5. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
6. The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.
7. The manager imitates; the leader originates.
8. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
9. The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
10. The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.
Good leaders are constantly trying to inspire others to do their best, and then continue to do even better. Leadership is based off of relationships with people, trust, determination, overcoming challenges, communication and much more that many managers barely even think about. Being a “manager” is a title, being a “leader” is a lifestyle.
I found a video clip that you can watch here that I found inspiring. Pat Cormier and John Kotter discuss that all employees need to think like leaders and start taking the initiative to help their company grow. Just because you aren’t a manager does not mean that you cannot be a leader, and just because you are a manager doesn’t make you a leader either. You’re choices are what determines your path in leadership. Cormier stated, “Leadership isn’t about position. It’s about how you behave and how you act.” If all employees of businesses and companies stopped going to their managers and bosses with problems asking them for a solution, and started approaching them with the issue AND a possible solution, then those businesses would be much more successful. Think about your decisions and how they could effect your future as a potential leader.