Friday, October 10, 2014

Are You a Manager or a Leader? Find Out! by Catherine Adenle

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I love Pinterest because you never know what you’ll find there. I have several pins on my Leadership and Career boards on Pinterest, and I also follow the pins of such boards. From these boards, I find some career related gems that spur me to write some good posts.
As usual, yesterday, I was trawling through one of the boards to escape the bore of adverts midway through one of my favourite shows on TV, and I found a fascinating Infographic (shown below) by based on Warren Buffet’sdescription of a Manager and a Leader.
However, the more I looked at the Infographic, the more questions I came up with.
For instance, these are some of the questions:
  • Isn't a good manager automatically a good leader?
  • Can a bad manager be a good leader and vice versa?
  • And, can we truly separate the functions of a Leader and that of a Manager?
I think leadership and management go hand in hand. Although they are not the same thing, however, they are closely linked, and they complement each other. Separating the two may cause more problems than it solves and create more questions than we can answer.
Great Managers and Leaders share the best traits of both. Great Managers cannot manage effectively without great leadership skills, any more than great Leaders can lead effectively without great managerial skills.
Candidly, the Infographic made me think of a few people that I looked at as Leaders differently because they fall into the Managers side and some Managers fall into the Leaders side. Just as well, many people lead and manage at the same time, and so display a combination of behaviours under both.
I once attended a Leadership training course where the facilitator defined the main difference between Leaders and Managers as - Leaders have people follow them while Managers have people who work for them.
As I see it, any successful person in any position of leadership needs to be both a strong Leader and Manager. This is important in order to get their team on board to follow them towards their vision of success and to work with them to achieve goals, while managing is more about administering and making sure daily things are happening as they should.
Infographic: What is the Difference between Management and Leadership?
In his superbly written book, “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences between a Manager and a Leader:
  • The manager administers; the leader innovates.
  • 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.
To also summary the differences between a Manager and a Leader, used the table below to summarize the differences and give a sense of both. However, the content of the Table is an illustrative characterization, as there is a whole spectrum between either ends along which each role can range.
Peter Drucker whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation, predicted the rise of the ‘knowledge worker’. “One does not ‘manage’ people,” he wrote. “The task is to lead people. And the goal is to make productive the specific strengths and knowledge of every individual.”
For any of us, the goal is to continuously work at improving the deficiencies we all have in one, the other, or in both (Leadership and Management).
So, based on the Infographic, where do you belong? Are you a Manager or a Leader? Do you share traits of both roles?

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