There’s this idea that if you’re a manager, you’re immediately a leader. The idea of getting promoted in a management position does sound as if you’re getting into the shoes of a leader, right? Well, yes and no. There are some very important distinctions between managing people and leading people.
This is something that is often not taught in business school so the confusion between the two sticks around. Whether you’re a manager, wanting to become one, or even just wanting to improve in a leadership position, it’s important to learn the difference between the two. These are some of the biggest and most important differences between managers and leaders.
Managers focus on the status quo while leaders focus on change
Leaders tend to be the ones that want to disrupt the norm and bring in change. Change can be good, it can be exciting, and it can lead to bigger and better things. This is something that a leader knows, whether it be for their role at work, personal branding within their business, or just want to change expectations. Embracing change and moving forward is a part of being a leader.
Managers are taught to stick with what works, just going with the system, structure, and how everything is being processed within their role. Managers can be leaders and make a change, but their role is to just manage the status quo and make sure it continues working efficiently.
Leaders focus on going against the wave
When it comes to leaders, they’re not afraid of showing off who they care about. They’re completely willing to be themselves even if it means going against the waves of “normality”. Something such as a Corporate Coach Group is excellent for leaders who want to continue improving on their leadership.
This is going to remind them how it’s fine to be different, how it’s great to be their most authentic selves. Managers on the other hand are trained to mimic certain behaviors, comply with their duties, even if it’s something they disagree with. They learn from the leaders to adopt a certain style or behavior rather than letting their own style of behavior define who they are.
Leaders focus on personal growth
One of the biggest and vital differences between a leader and a manager is the fact leaders focus on development. They strive to continuously learn, aim towards personal growth, and seek out their curiosities. The world is constantly changing and leaders understand that they need to have a thirst for knowledge if they want to keep up. It’s quite the contrary for managers. Managers will focus on doubling down on what they’re currently doing, not always being open to learning or accepting development.
As the world keeps changing, they’re the ones that tend to just want to a standstill. Managers believe that perfecting existing skills and adopting proven behaviors is going to help them stay where they are, not move them up in their careers.
Leaders are the risk-takers
As stated above, leaders are the ones who go against the waves. They’re the ones questioning normality and the structures of which things are going. Leaders are willing to take risks if it means getting to discover something new, learn more, or even just stand up for what they believe in. Managers focus on minimizing risk wherever they can. Leaders try to embrace problems and find ways to solve or improve them. Managers will try to manage the situation and the problem by controlling it or looking into ways to just completely avoid it.
Leaders are the coaches towards their teammates
Leaders think of those working with them as their team, not their subordinates. Leaders know that the reason people are working with them is due to the strong connection and trust they’ve made with their teammates. They know their teammates have potential and they’re fully competent. They coach their teammates knowing that there will be bigger and better things in their futures.
Managers on the other hand only assign tasks, they provide some guidance to accomplish these tasks but they’re the ones who tell their subordinates what to do and how to properly do it. Leaders are working with their team to reach a goal while the manager is the one telling their subordinates what to do, but not working with them to accomplish the end goal.
Leaders think about the long term goals while managers focus on the short term
Leaders are constantly thinking about what’s next and how to reach their end goals. This includes improving themselves as a person, as a leader, and in the role they’re in within the career. They’re always thinking of the long term in what’s best for them and their team. Managers tend to focus on achieving short-term goals, only wanting to reach those.