Managers vs. Leaders: How are they different?
This week I discuss the difference between being a manager and being a leader.So often we mix the two. I found an inspiring article written by Abraham Zaleznik in an article from 1977.
He wrote how the difference between managers and leaders lies in the conceptions they hold of chaos and order.
- Managers embrace process, seek stability and control, and instinctively try to resolve problems quickly—sometimes before they fully understand a problem’s significance.
- Leaders, in contrast, tolerate chaos and lack of structure, and are willing to delay closure in order to understand the issues more fully.
So in fact, business leaders will then have much more in common with artists, scientists, and other creative thinkers, than they do with managers. Organisations need both managers and leaders to succeed, but to develop both there needs to be space for both logic and strategic exercises on the one hand, and creativity and imagination on the other hand.Leaders paint the picture of what is possible and inspire the manager to act upon that vision, break into actionable steps that can be monitored, executed and achieved. So Leaders are change agents vs. Managers are more about maintaining the status quo.The two roles are so different, and I discuss and elaborate on what I think are the main indifferences between being a manager and a leader. Once we have understood and are able to differentiate between the role of a manager and that of a leader, we can look and identify different leadership styles, And in most of the literature I found, you will see that within the leadership style there are also mixed up management style, which I find very confusing.I don’t think there is 7 or 9 different leadership styles.
Leadership is built on 3 main pillars:
- human passion
Depending on which pillar is coming out strongly in your behaviour and attitude, it will result in a different leadership style.
Here are the 3 Leadership Styles that resonate with me:
- Charismatic Leader style
- Servant Leader
- Transformational Leader
When you read about styles like Authoritarian or Democratic style I really don’t think they are about leadership. They are more management styles. And as I discuss in the show, mixing them up is not helpful. And instead, we should be clear about the differences in terms of goals, attitudes, behaviour between managers and leaders.
Are YOU more a leader or a manager in your current role?
And if you are a leader, which style do you identify yourself mostly with?