Manager V/s Leader

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Wisdom vs. talent

The majority of nowadays modern companies are more administrated (managed) than leaded. According to some of the different characteristics we can create the following list:

Manager Leader
He manages wisely the resources Innovator, discovers new opportunities
Maintains the economic balance Develops new activities
Is interested in systems and structures Interested in the human factor
Decisions are based on control Decisions are based on trust
Long term vision Short term vision
He usually asks how, when? He usually asks why?
Aiming the result Aiming the concept, the idea
He imitates success stories He creates the success stories
He accepts the destine He challenges his own destine
Is a classic competent soldier Is his own general
Makes things in a proper manner Makes proper things
He is using a plan He is based on intuition
He respects the efficiency He respects the innovation

Manager and Leader have distinct traits. There are fundamental differences in the way of thinking and executing things. A manager tries to get maximum benefits of the available resources. He/She relies on high efficiency and productivity of existing resource. A leader on other hand has a creative mind. He/She is an inventor and is constantly thinking of changing and improving the way things are done. He/She can sacrifice efficiency or productivity for some time to promote creativity and hence finding novel unconditional ways. A leader is more risk savvy then the usual manager. A leader is always on look out for new ideas. He/She looks at his/her resources like people, machinery and computer systems in a different way then the manager. Manager aims to extract maximum value from these resources unlike a leader who aims to get different more valuable output from the same resources.

An organization or a society needs both leaders and managers. Too many leaders, too many innovators make a risky scenario. It also leads to unstability and often mutual clashes. A manager on other hand is a stabilizer and ensures smooth at times boring functioning of things.

Leader dreams, is hopeful and pursues things on his own.. Manager executes, is a good planner and is persuasive. Both leaders and managers can make history. If their ventures fail, leader get badly hurt and often temporarily and also permanently go in oblivion. Managers are often at risk of getting jaded and exhausted. They have linear rise and fall. The world needs both. Stability and Creativity need to go hand in hand.

Dr Sankalp Srivastava
Assistant Professor
Department of Management
Babu Banarasi Das National Institute of Technology and Management
Babu Banarasi Das University

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