Although it is far from being a new topic, it remains perennially important to distinguish between what makes a great manager and what makes a great leader. These two figures are not always distinct, nor do they have to be; but, both are needed for an organization to function well.
Leaders are those who inspire others to succeed. What is important is that he or she is capable of innovating by asking “why”. A leader inspires trust in employees, who might be include co-workers or even superiors. A leader is not necessarily at the top of the heap. A leader’s authority comes from his or her capacity to think ahead of the curve and provide new ideas and goals for the team as a whole.
Managers are those who control people and resources in order to deliver results. A manager asks “how” in order to get the job done in the most effective method, and a manager is essential in organizing who does what, usually with keen insights into efficiency and personal strengths. Managers rely on well-defined strategies like planning, budgeting, and problem-solving. Their work is ongoing, and they must constantly try to keep all of the plates in the air from crashing down, even while integrating new ideas and plans in with the old.
Leaders and managers will, at times, share responsibilities and attributes. Leaders are often effective because they understand how management strategies can be used to achieve a goal, and managers often find that they must draw on leadership skills in order to inspire employees and to draw out the work that they require. However, good management and good leadership are two distinctly different qualities needed to organize a team.
What do you think are other differences between managers and leaders? When should the two mix, and when should they keep apart?