True leaders set a clear, compelling and believable direction and inspire others to follow…this is the core of what you learn in leadership training programs. It is different from learning how to manage.
If you are looking to raise the level of management influence by instilling in your managers the qualities of leadership, here are ways to distinguish between the role of a leader and that of a manager according to leadership training program research.
- Longer. Leaders focus more on long-term goals while managers are responsible for fulfilling shorter-term objectives.
- Higher. Leaders operate at a higher level of thinking. They need to have an overall perspective rather than a focus on what one team is doing. It is up to leaders to define and articulate the company vision, mission and values. Both leaders and managers, however, should strive to embody in their actions alignment with the company’s purpose and goals.
- Empower. Leaders know how to empower their employees to solve problems and meet challenges. Managers are more apt to delegate responsibility for resolving issues and expect to be more involved in the solutions and results.
- Corporate Culture. Leaders hire with an eye toward building a high performance culture; managers hire more for fit with their specific team and for needed skill sets.
- Balance. The best leaders operate using both heart and mind. They have high IQs as well as high EQs. The best managers have both too but need to rely more on their savvy business skills, whereas leaders lead with both.
- Openness. Another trait shared by the best of these two worlds is openness. Whether you are leading a company or managing a team, you earn the trust of your followers by being transparent. Share with your workers what you know and the rationale behind your business decisions. Admit your mistakes when you make them and solicit help from your reports when you need it.
In general, leaders work with a broader view. One role is not better than the other…you need both in a successful organization. Just understand the difference between the two and make sure you have both strong leaders and effective managers.