In business, a manager and a leader are often used interchangeably. We were taught that being a manager requires fulfilling the four management functions – planning, organising, leading, and controlling. But what institutions didn’t teach us is how to become an effective leader.
Managers are essentially for structural purposes. They have an authority over their subordinates and they administer tasks. From the name itself, managers manage work.
On the other hand, leaders lead people. They are the ones who empower the team to achieve their goals.
Basically, the roles of a manager and a leader go hand in hand – a manager needs leadership qualities and a leader requires management skills.
Leadership and management functions are closely linked but there are key dissimilarities between the two. In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences (see infographic). He said, “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born – that there is a genetic factor to leadership. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.”
If we want our organisation to achieve its goals, we should aim to become not just a good manager, but also an efficient and effective leader.
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