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The Difference Between Leaders and Managers

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The Difference Between Leaders and Managers

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  • October 2011
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The Difference between Managers and Leaders
John Smith
MGT 380: Leadership in Organizations
Prof. Travis Scott
May 9, 2011

The Difference between Managers and Leaders
Even though the terms leader and manager get used interchangeably, there are major differences in the meanings of the two words. It is a topic that is often not thought about, although we all see it in our daily lives. We have managers who simply tell us what to do, and we have mangers who tell us what to do and how we are going to accomplish the task together. While the definition of a leader changes from person to person, the term manager usually only means one thing: the boss. With this mindset, there comes the debate on whether a manager is automatically a leader, just because their title. This is where the two terms differ. Managers and Leaders

“Managers value stability, order, and efficiency, and they are impersonal, risk adverse and focused on short-term results. Leaders value flexibility, innovation, and adaptation; they care about people as well as economic outcomes, and they have a longer-term perspective with regard to objectives and strategies. Managers are concerned about how things get done, and then try to get people to perform better. Leaders are concerned with what things mean to people, and they try to get people to agree about the most important things to be done” (Yukl, 2010). Managers are worried about one thing; task accomplishment. Many times, managers do not care how it gets done, or who does it, as long as it gets done and gets done right. For example, if a branch manager has to brief the CEO of the company, the brief is usually prepared by someone who works for the branch manager. If the branch manager needs it done quickly, they will not hesitate to tell their employee that they need to stay late to finish the brief. The reason is because if the brief does not get completed, the branch manager appears incompetent to the CEO. This task is strictly managerial and...

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