Many use the the words manager and leader synonymously, but a leader is not necessarily a manager and a manager is not always a leader.
So what’s the difference?
Warren Bennis makes several differentiations in his book “On Becoming a Leader.”
– The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
– The manager maintains; the leader develops.
– The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
– The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
– The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
– The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
– The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.
– The manager imitates; the leader originates.
– The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
– The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
– The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.
It’s clear that management is a role that is defined around a set of tasks and outcomes that must be managed. Likely this means managing people to complete tasks the right way.
Leadership, however, is about influence and is a social phenomenon.
Here’s the great thing…
Unlike management, leadership does not require someone giving you a role.
Anyone can take the initiative and become a leader. You can certainly be given a leadership role, but leadership doesn’t require it.
You have the power to become a leader in any social situation. Work, community, school, church, online community, and any other place you find people.
Leadership starts with empowerment. Not someone empowering you, but you empowering yourself to be a person of influence.
Image above courtsey of Davide Castillo Dominici via Freedigitalphotos.net