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Difference between a Manager and a Leader

The distinction line between a manager

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and a leader has been overlooked since long in practical situations. Although both traits are interlinked, they have varying dimensions to them if pursued meticulously. To understand the difference between the two, both are discussed briefly and then the distinguishing characteristics are highlighted under. Manager Usually managing is considered as a common sense activity and underestimated. That is where a manager

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goes wrong. Management is not about exercising the authority given to you; it’s about identifying the right issues and come up with the right solutions- doing right things in the right way!

(Blair, 2009) A manager’s decision and his performance can have a significant effect on organization’s success. Manager has got to be a got decision maker and problem solver. A manager has to coordinate in organisational activities and possess qualities of a planner, organizer and leader – that is the function of management. A manager not only plans and decides, but also monitors team performance and evaluates the results. Leader A general image of the leader is that he guides and influences others. Leader may not be a manager

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. However leadership is considered as one of the major functions of management.

So a manager

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is expected to be a good leader. The perspective of a leader is drawn towards vision and motivation; towards the people! Leadership and management cannot be compared like two different entities, rather we’ll move forward in comparing actually two degrees of management, one possessing leadership and the other devoid of it. The Line of Difference The focus of a manger is to increase the productivity of its organization through implementation. That makes him goal oriented and administrative. On the other hand leader is more concerned with the vision.

Manager is adaptive to change and to the organisational culture but leader is oriented towards initiative and brings about change in environment. That’s because leader is a risk taker. A manager follows the preset rules and policies of organization but the leader will innovate and follow his own intuition. Where a manager

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plans and organizes, the leader directs the workforce; where manager controls, the leader motivates; where manger performs staffing, the leader develops and empower his team. Hence a leader is more emotional than a manager

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. A leader influences in such a way that he not only inspires but aspires his people.

He gives credit, appreciates achievements and takes blame. That makes people more loyal to a leader than to a manger. It is the position and authority of the manager that gets the people obeying, but the leader appeals the people through his charisma. A manager get things done for his own or company’s benefit while a leader is believed to be concerned about people’s benefit as well. So people follow a leader through their own will. A manager possesses technical skills, expertise and experience. A leader usually is devoid of such competencies but he leverages the people through his vision and convincing power.

The manager demands result but the leader appreciates achievement. The leader sees above the horizons and thinks out of the box- he has a proactive approach. Contrasting characteristics do exist between management and leadership, but the view that one totally differs from the other cannot be satisfying either. Even if both are kept distinguished in an organization, alignment is necessary to be productive. The feedback from the mangers is necessary so that leaders can impact the results in a better way and support the mangers. (Mc Namara, 2004) Conclusion

An efficient manager is the one who possess both the dimensions of characteristics and qualities mentioned. It’s a manger’s skill to fit into different roles according to situation. Leader is one of them. If management is about “doing right things in the right way”, then leadership attributes to the choice of right things. References Blair, Gerard, What makes a great manager? Accessed 02/25/09, at: http://www. see. ed. ac. uk/~gerard/Management/art9. html Mc Namara (2004) Overview of Leadership in Organizations, Accessed 02/25/09, at: http://www. mapnp. org/library/ldrship/ldrship. htm#anchor2078406

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