Let me ask you a question; what is the difference between someone who manages and someone who leads? Some would say that they are the same. “A manager is in charge of leading the team.” That is a valid statement, yet we have all had that manager that will delegate all jobs until there is none left for them and finish by saying, “I’ll be in my office if you need anything.” The better question for me to ask would be what is the difference between a manager and a leader?
A manager is simply a title. A manager is someone who, on paper, has the credentials and knowledge of the material to head the operation. The title “Manager” puts that person ahead of everyone else; both with the most accountability and the most value. They are the ones who, in times of success, will have the most recognition. Tell me, is that how a team is supposed to work? What makes a leader is what is not on paper.
My thoughts are simply this; in order to be a great manager, you must be a great leader. In order to be a great leader, you must be a good follower for you must be able to trust in the hands of those around you when you yourself get lost. A true leader will not only delegate the tasks at hand, but is also not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work with you to get it done. A leader does not belittle their team and “talk down” to them; they make sure that everyone is up to the same speed. They work with the mindset of “I am only as strong as my weakest team mate.”, so they push anyone who is struggling. The most important thing that separates a manager from a leader; a leader is not afraid to admit their faults and weaknesses. They utilize their team members’ strengths to keep propelling the team forward! They aren’t out for their own glory…their team’s glory is enough for them.
So which one do you want to have working with you? Better yet, why should you have to choose? In order to be the best manager, you have to be a great leader. The results, in the end, will be more fruitful and rewarding.