Friday, September 18, 2015

Are You a Leader or a Manager? Part 3

Approach and Summary

In the two previous posts, we have discussed the differences between a manager and a leader in communication and their unique characteristics that help define both types of people.
In this final installment of this three part series, we will be looking at the different approach taken by both managers and leaders.

Managers and leaders have very different approaches when it comes to project management, employee engagement, and just about every other workplace action. Managers will push employees to get something accomplished. They will tell the employees what needs to be done and then micromanage them and push them from behind in order to see it through. Some of the more forward thinking managers will even use the “dangle a carrot in front of the employees” technique. Unfortunately, while they are dangling that carrot in front of the employees, they are doing so using a very long stick while still pushing them from behind. Leaders set an example for the employees to follow and then they lead from the front. They set the expectations, give the needed resources and tools, and then empower the employees to achieve the desired goal. Leaders help the employees do what needs to be done by getting out of the employees way, but being available to help as needed.
Inspiration and vision are the two main component of a leader’s approach that set them apart from a manager. While a leader inspires and helps the employees understand how the work they are doing is beneficial to the organization, a manager uses threats and scare tactics to achieve their goal.

Leaders and managers are two very different types of people. However, the best type of leader, is the one who knows when to be a leader and when to be a manager. Being a manager is necessary to help set policies and procedures, get day-to-day things done, anticipate needs, review resources, etc.

You might have a leader personality or a manager personality, but the best thing for any workplace is to have somebody who knows how to be both.