Are you a Manager or a Leader?
There are many persons in managerial roles within companies and organizations that are yet to figure out the difference between the two roles. There are important distinctions between managing and leading people, and it is very important for any manager with the hope of being great at their job, understand that they must also be great at leadership.
One of the key characteristics of a manager is very basic in the sense that they are someone who was given their authority by the nature of their role. They ensure work gets done; focus on day-to-day tasks, and manage the activities of others.
Managers focus on tactical activities and often times have a more directive and controlling approach. In many organizations, managers are often times the previous high performers at the employee level. Does this mean they are ready for the challenge of people management? In many cases, the answer is no. To demonstrate solid characteristics of a manager, these previous high performers must be trained in the area of interpersonal dynamics, effective communication and they should be encouraged to demonstrate some level of compassion towards other workers and the general population they provide a service to.
On the other hand, when we think of a leader, a number of images may pop into our heads. One common statement that comes to my mind is “he or she is a born leader”. The often made misconceived statement lends to the opinion that leadership is a skill that people are born with. While this can be true, more often than not it is a competency that is the individual achieves through experience, self development, and practice.
To demonstrate characteristics of a leader one must be more strategically focused and rather than directing employees through tasks, they inspire and motivate employees to drive themselves. Leaders are or should be well versed in the art of Emotional Intelligence and apply it in a way that attains the best work out of their people. The harsh reality is that this is an area of great lack in many companies and organizations today. Hence the reason we often have such problems with customer service, lack of motivation and underperformance.
To be Continued
Next week we look at the difference between Managers and Leaders