We like to think that in theory, all managers are in fact leaders; why else would they be holding the reigns of our organizations? However, just because the title of “Manager” is brandished across a person’s business card or the shiny nameplate outside their office, it does not mean they possess key qualities that define a true leader, someone people depend on and look to for guidance. Unfortunately, many of us out there have either known or worked under a manager rooted behind their mahogany desk, peering at you with critical eyes while delegating every task from finishing a report they will undoubtedly take credit for, to brewing them up a fresh cup of coffee (2 sugars, one creamer). The best managers, the ones that shy far from that prototype, are also leaders as well. They are the kind of people that drive innovation and growth, both for the people under them and for their companies as a whole. Below is an excerpt from the Wall Street Journal that outlines these key differences that everyone should consider when hiring, training, or aspiring to be a manager.
§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.