Which are you - a Manager or a Leader?

Last Update: November 21, 2013

This may start you thinking: Which are you - Manager or a Leader, and what is the difference?

From a Wall Street Journal ....

- 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.

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
Mark Tait Premium
Hi - I'm both in my 9-5.

I manage in the sense that I ensure HR, pay and rations etc are dealt out fairly - I believe I am a leader in that I say "how about this, and this is really how you should think about the solution to this problem, and if it was me I'd do it this way etc etc" - I give a lot of respect to people to trust their own instincts. I believe that helps them grow. I don't want to micromanage a manager - what's the point in having a manager if that;s what you're going to do? Let them learn from mistakes, give them guidance, and grow a team that can effectively make you redundant - to allow you to let go of the reins and move on. That's what I truly believe a managers responsibility is.

Cheers, Mark
Animate Premium
Thanks, Mark, I agree. The best managers are also leaders and visionaries, people persons wanting to bring out the best in others, know how to lead without dominating or controlling, etc.
OldCodger Premium
Methinks that a manager who didn't focus on people or didn't inspire trust wouldn't be much of a manager. The "job description" of the manager here puts them in the ranks of a lowly filing clerk, who just does what they are told and has no vision for any sort of advancement, or a "yes-man/woman" at best. A real put-down of managers, who are the "engine room" of many organisations. Been there.
I wouldn't like to be working in a company with that delineation! Indeed, a balance of all those qualities is the answer. Was the list written by a megalomaniac leader, perhaps, who was once a manager and "made the grade"?
:) george
Animate Premium
Thank ye, George. Maybe the Manager 'qualities' are meant to be the basics required to manage, and then the better the manager becomes, the more he progresses to adopt the leadership qualities. A Leader would also need to have managerial qualities, e.g. needing to be able to control his work force and having his eye on systems and structure.
The list just sets you thinking and maybe that is its purpose (?).
BIS Premium
Yes - I've seen this before. But I don't even agree with it all. I've met plenty of good managers who focus on people and those that are their own person. But the bottom line is that you might be bits of both within the one role regardless of you job title.
Animate Premium
Yes, it's never black or white, is it, but a mix of both. Better ballance perhaps?
boomergp08 Premium
As someone who is self employed I picture myself as both.
Animate Premium
Yup, you'd probably need to be!
Rick Jantz Premium
Thanks for sharing. I'm in an Authentic Leadership course right now and the one thing that has really stood out is the phrase: "do the right things, right". We usually know what those are but will still avoid doing them.
Animate Premium
I think I'd lean to the right (towards leadership, but in more ways than just that).
I definitely do NOT accept the status quo. I enjoy upsetting the apple cart!
Good luck with your course, Rick - have fun! Thanks for your comment.