The moment you got promoted to a manager, you knew your life would never be the same. Although having a higher position means better pay and incentives, it also comes with probably one of the greatest responsibilities any employee can ever take on—leadership. You are doing well as a manager and were able to turn most challenges into successes. Still, you feel like you can do more. You don’t only want to be a good manager. You want to be a good leader.
What’s the Difference between a Leader and a Manager?
As the saying goes, leaders are made and not born. The first step to becoming an effective leader is to know the differences between managing and leading people.
- Managers have goals while leaders have visions. But aren’t they the same? Most managers set goals and take control of their environment by imposing rules that help them reach those goals. Leaders, on the other hand, have a picture of all the possibilities that can happen in the business and they do whatever it takes to inspire their team into realizing that vision.
- Managers mimic while leaders are unique. You’re probably guilty of this, but a lot of managers only follow what they learn from other managers or mentors since it’s the easier route and they know that it works. But real leaders do more than just follow. They know what makes them different and are willing to work hard to stand out. They are not afraid to take risks because they are confident enough with their skills but careful enough to avoid mishaps.
- Managers are all about the status quo while leaders foster change. Most managers stick to the system in place and only refine them. But leaders know that an existing system may need to be changed to help the business grow. They are catalysts of change because they believe that even if something is effective, there are still better ways to do it to keep up with competition and foster progress within the company.
- Managers rely on tried and tested skills while leaders crave personal growth. Managers know what made them get to where they are and will stick to those skills since they’re already proven. But leaders always feel the need to learn something new to not get left behind. They value their existing skills but work hard on improving themselves to stay relevant and keep up with an ever-changing industry.
Now that you know the difference between a manager and a leader, you can take the next step towards becoming better at leading people. One of the best ways to get started is by taking up leadership courses that allow you to improve existing skills, increase your productivity, make better decisions and nurture future leaders. You can also gain a lot more than you think by going through leadership training: