From Kevin’s Blog on Leadership, by Kevin Eikenberry
“Manager or Leader? People sometimes ask me, ‘Should I be a manager or a leader?’ My answer is ‘yes.’
There are management books and leadership books, management courses and leadership courses. There are people who call themselves managers, and those who call themselves leaders.
The manager/leader question isn’t an either/or question; it is a both/and question. Greater management skills make leaders more effective and managers will be more effective when they exercise the skills of great leaders.
Rather than trying to discriminate these skills, let’s look at both sides of the coin for some competencies:
- A manager thinks short term, tactically, a leader has a longer term, more strategic focus.
- A manager plans how and when, a leader asks ‘what?’ and ‘how?’
- A manager looks at the bottom line, a leader looks to the horizon.
- A manager knows the business, a leader knows the Customer.
- A manager focuses on improving existing products and processes, a leader focuses on the new product and the breakthrough process.
- A manager supervises, a leader influences.
- A manager builds success through quality, a leader builds success through employees.
- A manager sets standards of performance, a leader sets new standards.
You can read each pair as one thing is better than the other, but I’d encourage you instead to see the value in both sides of the coin. We need tactics and strategy, we need improvements and innovation.
I could further define the manager/leader coin with more competencies, but these should be plenty to get you started.Think about both sides of this coin – think manager and leader.”