Often, when leadership and management are compared, it’s to show why leadership is the better style. However, a good manager can inspire productivity, company loyalty, and a positive work culture just as much as a good leader. The manager simply arrives at those goals by employing different methods and making the best use of his or her own talents. By understanding the differences between a good manager and a good leader, you’ll be better able to choose the style that will work best for you.
What Makes a Good Leader
The most important characteristic of any good leader is charisma. Since the leader’s role is not to force participation but to inspire it, his or her ability to excite interest is essential. When the leader can seem passionate about a project, that heightened level of interest will inspire others to want to take part in it.
A leader also looks for a way to improve the status quo. By possessing the ability to come up with creative and unique solutions, he or she is showing subordinates that there is more than one way to get things done. By improving the operation of the business, the leader can inspire others to look for more productive ways of getting tasks completed.
What Are the Characteristics of an Effective Manager
While leaders take a more abstract approach, good managers come at problems with a more logical and rational mindset. They use logical reasoning to come up with effective solutions to problems. In seeking to reach an objective, a manager develops methods that are based on the expected outcome of each action. For this reason, managers possess more analytical minds as opposed to the creativity possessed by a good leader.
Managers are also good problem solvers. A good manager is usually adept with thinking on his or her feet, so solutions to problems can be implemented more quickly. Often, it’s solely the manager’s responsibility to come up with a solution, so the team is dependent on his or her ability to come up with solutions quickly.
Managers must also be skilled at remaining calm under pressure. Taking on the role of a manager means being responsible for how the team operates and how resources are utilized. Since everything lands at the manager’s feet, he must be able to create a plan of action without letting the stress of his position overcome him.
As this brief overview suggests, managers and leaders possess very different traits. This means not everyone is cut out to be a good leader, but that doesn’t mean you can’t effectively manage your team. To excel in your position, it’s necessary to look inward and determine which approach will make the best use of your skills and personal characteristics.