Leaders versus managers

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What business should be focusing on are the roles of both leadership and management as it will often be the same person who is operating in both capacities. People across organisations, whatever their level have the potential both to perform and display leadership. Effective leading of people or teams starts with effective personal leadership. Whether you are the Managing Director, Operations Director, Programmer or Administrator you need to continually pursue increased awareness of yourself along with your values and aspirations and then set your goals accordingly. Leadership does not just happen on Monday to Friday when we go to work. It is a role we perform at different points, places and stages of our lives, parenthood is a prime example.

According to Bennis and Nanus managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing. The role of managers is to facilitate the work of an organisation through sound policies procedures and practices. Managers are the people that make the future happen. They crystallize the expectations of people into concrete agendas and action plans. Managers truly master change breaking through the bureaucracy to make progress.

Leaders are in the vision business. They are the people rallying people to the future vision and providing energy and enthusiasm. Leaders are constantly challenging the workplace to be better. They are about cultivating the desires in others to accept responsibility for tasks deadlines and milestones. Leaders listen well and encourage others to take leadership roles within the organisation. According to Stephen Covey management is problem orientated and leadership is opportunity orientated.

It is often said that managers manage things and leaders lead people. However both managers and leaders fail miserably when they are unwilling or unable to take into account the needs of the people involved in helping them achieve their goals. They both need to take people with them. Management and leadership should work in tandem to accomplish what needs to be done.

In the end people do not follow what you say they follow what you do. When you charge up that next hill you want others to be behind you, not waving frantically at the bottom. This applies to both managers and leaders.



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