March 20, 2014

Manager and Leader… Different or the same

Writing about web page Leadership and Excellence

Is leadership very different than management? There are conflicting views about this. Some authors believe a manager can never become a good leader as he would not know how to inspire and influence his team. Moreover, a leader has the ability to create a vision whereas a manager is responsible to implement the vision.

According to Harvard business review article that I read today, a manager was made a leader of a business department and he was heading 3000 employees. He had a lot of difficulties heading the department as he was focusing on the areas that he was comfortable with and was ignoring areas that he was not a specialist in. The article proves that a manager needs to transform himself to become an effective leader.

Quote from the article

“They must learn to move from specialist to generalist, analyst to integrator, tactician to strategist, bricklayer to architect, problem solver to agenda setter, warrior to diplomat, and supporting cast member to lead role.”

This clearly shows the difference between the two roles, i.e. leadership and management.

However in my opinion in order to become a good manager, one should be an effective leader, as he is the one who is leading his own department. I agree that heading a department and leading an organization is very different. But if a manager is taken from the department and asked to lead the organization he would be able to do it. Why I say this is because he knows how to lead, it is just that the role is very different. Tapping into the role will take him some time, but if he was an effective manager, he will be a good leader. He will just have to go through the transformation that is mentioned in the article. If he successful in the transformation, it will be very easy for him to lead the organization.

Thus I end by saying that a manager is a leader of his own department. Leadership is a function of the leader, group members and situational variables. A manager is in a very different situation compared to the leader, this does not mean he will not be an effective leader. It just means that if the situation changes he will need to adapt to the new situation. He will be a great leader if he adapts quickly.

What does everyone think?


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