In order to succeed in your role, you must make the crucial distinction between being a manager and a leader. Leaders often focus on strategy and an overall vision, which enables them to guide their organisation in the most effective way. However, managers are often task-orientated, focus on the execution phase and might “tell people what to do”. Although there is room for both within an organisation, they each have their differences and a distinct role.
Leaders should inspire change
In order to grow, leaders should instil a level of motivation in their team in order to change. A leader will set the initial direction of the organisation or project and then inspire others to follow their lead. In order to achieve this, leaders need to be compelling and motivating. Managers will often just oversee projects and implement change accordingly.
Leaders need to be willing to take risks
In order to grow or expand into a new territory, a leader will have to take risks. Risks should often be calculated and mirror the strategic direction of the business in order to work. Managers on the other hand need to practice self-discipline and concentrate on adhering to the strategic direction set by the leader.
Leaders need to be accountable to their entire company
Every decision a leader makes will have an impact on the entirety of the organisation. A leader should be aware of this fact and should be conscious of this weighty responsibility. However, managers are mainly responsible for their team and need to ensure each member is supported and equipped with the right knowledge and tools to undertake their tasks.
Leaders must analyse the external environment
The landscape of many industries continues to rapidly change due to a number of reasons. In order to stay ahead of your competitors, leaders must pre-empt change and adapt to it accordingly. Leaders should identify opportunities or risks that could affect their overall organisation if they want to succeed. A manager should always be analysing the internal environment and utilising the best resources within to achieve business goals. This may include team culture, organisational structures and communication.
Leaders need to be confident when faced with uncertainty
A leader’s journey can often be filled with uncertainty as they navigate their business through various challenges. Leaders need to be confident in their abilities to determine the best course of action for their organisation and employees. Leaders need to be confident in their decisions and clearly communicate this to managers in order for them to follow the intended direction and deliver results.