Leaders and managers are very similar in role responsibilities, yet have very subtle differences. Both roles are instrumental in building strong teams of employees and compliment each other as they work towards the same goals. While there are many similarities to be defined between the two roles, there are a few notable differences which can help to distinguish between a manager and a leader. I feel it is absolutely necessary to highlight these differences to my fellow employees so they understand the importance of my recent promotion from category manager to category leader. Perhaps knowing the distinctions between these two roles will help them to better understand their responsibilities as well.
"Leaders focus on the future while managers focus on the present (CTU, 2009)."
Leaders are more focused on what will happen in the future if certain actions are taken while managers focus on the present and what would help best for the moment. Managers may make a monthly schedule to handle volume in the store on any particular day while leaders look for innovative ways to better staff the store and drive business. If managers are focused on today, this week and this month, leaders look towards the next 2, 3, and 4 years. A manager might motivate his staff to make more sales calls and increase business. Leaders, on the other hand, evaluate different markets and how the sales team can reach those markets (Straker, 2009). Managers are the rule makes and abiders. They are the government within the business which makes sure that tasks are performed on time and accurately. Rather than "stir the pot" and cause commotion, they would like to maintain a calm business environment. Managers are the employees that do as their told and rarely go against the grain. Leaders on the other hand, seize the opportunity to change things as they were to a new practice. Although, both of these authorities work differently it is important to point out that progress can not be made without both sides. Leadership can not push through the boundaries is there is no order set by management (Kotelnikov, 2001).
"Leaders create a culture based on shared values while managers implement policies and procedures (CTU)."
Leaders must learn to draw from the creativity of those within their team to create policies and procedures that will help to improve the culture of the organization. Seeking to improve the social and productivity of the employees, leaders move towards practices that will help acclimate professionals to the business more quickly and easily; hence making it a more feasible working environment. Managers simply implement policies to get the job done. It's the easiest way to get from point A to point B. Leaders are more innovative in developing these practices.
"Leaders establish an emotional link with followers while managers remain aloof to maintain objectivity (CTU)."
Leaders tend to be more emotionally invested in their business and their work because they feel it is necessary to lead by example and retain a following. In this respect, building a repore with employees to complete activities ethically and sufficiently is important. Leading those to follow in the right direction is the main focus of leadership. This can be referred to as pull leadership. Inspiring employees and others to obey rules without ordering them is a highly effective form of leadership. If employees feel they are being forced to do something they do not feel comfortable with or are unfamiliar with, it is more likely that there will be resistance. Pull leadership allows the employee to follow at their own pace and will (Robbins, 2004).
There are three different motives used for leadership: power, achievement, and affiliation. The power to have influence over another person is appealing to both managers and leaders. While managers might use their power to tell their employees what to do and when, leaders use their power to motivate and stimulate the minds...
References: Manning, G. and Curtis, K. (2008) The Art of Leadership. (2nd ed.) McGraw-Hill Irwin: Upper Salle River, NJ.
McAdams, T., Neslund, and Zucker. (2008) Law, Business, & Society. (9th ed.) McGraw-Hill Irwin: Upper Salle River, NJ.
Robbins, S. (2004) The "Pull Leadership" Manifesto. Retrieved February 23, 2009, from http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/4339.html
Retrieved September 4, 2010, from
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