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You may be a great leader, but are you a good manager?

Asheen Raven
21st Dec 2016
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Leadership is an essential quality required to be a top notch manager. However, management involves much more than the ability to influence and lead. People may use the terms interchangeably, but the fact remains that leadership and management aren’t exactly the same.

The world is shaped by leaders in every field. In the professional world, this role involves motivation, decision making, and innovation, while maintaining certain ideals and principles.

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However, that world is being built by the managers. These are the people who are truly rallying the troops and guiding them towards the greater objective. Efficiency and effectiveness are the key attributes of a good manager.

There are several differences between management and leadership, and here we attempt to break them down for you.

Ideation versus implementation

A leader is one who has his eye on the future, and in the world of business, this involves innovation and ideation. Leaders are the ones who come up with new products and processes, and identify the trends and look to capitalise on them.

The leader comes up with the idea, and it is then up to the management to translate that into results on the ground level. Managers are the ones who go about transforming the vision into reality.

Reverence versus obedience

Leaders and managers evoke different feelings from the people working under them. A manager’s duty is to exterminate slack from the workplace and make sure targets are being achieved. They are the ones employees answer to and have to obey, which may sometimes lead to friction in their relationship.

However, leaders have a different aura altogether. They are the ones that people look to as inspirations, as those with all the ideas and solutions, and as the manifestation of their own professional goals and dreams. A person may often regard a leader as a larger-than-life figure who is more than just his boss.

Burden of responsibility

Managers have to bear the burden of responsibility more than the leaders. Managers are accountable for work being done on the ground level. They have to make sure that deadlines and targets are being met, and will be held responsible for any errors or mistakes committed under their watch.

Leaders are held responsible for certain discrepancies as well, but to a much lesser extent than the management. If a particular idea doesn’t quite take off, it can be attributed to market factors, bad timing, or even a lack of effort from the manager.

A tangible influence

As mentioned earlier, leaders are revered by the people working under them and are often placed on a pedestal. However, the managers may have a greater bearing in the day-to-day functioning of the organisation. The leaders often do not have a very tangible influence on the ground level.

With great power comes great responsibility. But in the case of managers, with great responsibility comes great power. Managers are the ones who sign off on all the transactions, wrap up all the conferences, and keep employees on their toes.

The differences between a leader and a manager do not create a gaping chasm between them. In fact, many of these differences are slowly fading away as entrepreneurship takes on the challenges of the new millennium with a more hands-on approach.

The best managers in the world now are also leaders of men, taking the initiative with the aforementioned responsibility. The two qualities are now being assimilated by the movers and shakers of the professional world, and it is definitely showing results.

The combination of both these qualities is very beneficial for the organisation. When a professional is both a good leader and an excellent manager, then they can work absolute wonders.

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