Friday, December 27, 2013

Article by Sarbashis

Leaders or Managers – What do we want to be?

It is a common misconception, a myth that Managers and leaders are same. Generally people confuse the terms “Leaders” and “Managers” and thinks that they are same. But, in reality it is a completely different scenario overall. The fact is that to be a successful manager one needs to be a great leader, but to be a successful leader one may or may not be a great manager of all people. Here lies the dilemma of what we want to be. Is it that we want to be a successful manager or we prefer to be a great Leader?

Leadership basically is a broader term than management. Organizational Behavior explains three different modes of management – a) Administration, b) Management, c) Leadership. There are different traits, qualities, abilities that differentiates people and decides that whether that they are Administrators, Managers, or Leaders.

Now , here are few points which shows how Leaders and Managers are actually different from each other. The most important characteristics of a Leader is their internality and creativity. Creativity is the ability to find new solutions and new alternatives to different situations and problems, whereas approach of a Manager is too much mainstream. They tend to follow the pathway that has already been set and proved. We know higher the risk, higher is the gain. So, the Leaders by their approach get maximum result. Leaders know how to transform problems into opportunities and thus can deal with any critical situation with ease. Manager on the other hand tries to avoid risks and plays safe.

Leaders have a great sense of interpersonal skills which managers lack. Managers have many subordinates and lower professional working under him. Similarly Leaders have their followers. But Leaders use the right blend of motivation and pressure to influence their followers to accomplish the job without even knowing the best talent of the followers , whereas manager test his subordinates’ ability and on the basis of that he chooses his team and then it becomes his duty to extract the maximum output out of everybody. Basically, Managers attains the goals by force whereas Leaders use influence, motivation & understanding in his process of developing and innovation.

However both Managers and Leaders are necessary in an organization. Manager attains the operational excellence and tries their level best to reach the objective. They always keep a track of how much progress towards the goal has been made and works accordingly. Leadership on the other hand is setting new vision and indulges development.

In recent times,leadership is gaining a lot of attention. Organizations are searching for leaders at all levels, be it at the top level or at the lower level. Though both Leaders and Managers are needed, but organizations believe effective leaders are the original source of competitive advantage. Remember a manager with all leadership qualities will always gain an upper hand than simply a Manager or a Leader.

Writer : Sarbashis Wayn Ghosh
Marketing student at IFIM B School