From managers to leaders

From managers to leaders

A phase that most organizations are hooked to today is wanting more leaders than managers! Yes, organizations ask for help for their managers to learn...

A phase that most organizations are hooked to today is wanting more leaders than managers! Yes, organizations ask for help for their managers to learn to supervise and coach and plan but also ask for help to make them the leaders they need them to be, to support, encourage and motivate their people.

In an organizational context today, it is not enough for one to be able to plan, estimate, prioritize and schedule tasks and people appropriately and manage the time, resources and people effectively. Today, organizations look for people managers who can go beyond that. They look for their ability to motivate, support and encourage the team members; they look for emotional intelligence and balanced approach towards tasks as well as people; for leaders rather than just for managers.

When we ask senior management and participants in training programs to differentiate between a manager and a leader, most of the times what comes out is that the participants make the manager almost like a villain. When comparing the two, the manager becomes someone who is not really that good and only a leader can perform really well. However, that is not the case. Both managers and leaders are essential in an organization and it is most effective when the manager, along with his/her managerial capabilities, also learns to behave and perform as an effective leader! Here are a few differences cited by many experts, between a manager and a leader:
Reactive vs. proactive: A fundamental difference is that a leader many a time is proactive and thinks much ahead of possible risks and how to eliminate them before they happen whilst a manager may focus on whatever is happening currently and work more on how to handle the current challenges emerging in the tasks and the team. Both are, as we know, essential qualities for success Hands on vs. empowerment: A manager is much more hands on and involved in the day-to-day or regular tasks than a leader is. A manager knows more about what is going on and is in a position to step in any time required whereas a leader is more at the superficial level of involvement and would look towards the team to step in as and when required. When the individual handling the task is very competent, it pays to play the role more of a leader and when the competence level is not very high, one needs to be a manager.
Stability vs. change: A manager always tries his/her utmost to get things to stay calm and steady and stable as possible. A leader, once confirmed that there is stability at one level, starts looking at possible ways to evolve and grow to the next level, to work towards the changes needed to grow to that level and plan these changes systematically.
Make the rules vs. break the rules: A manager tends to constantly keep the team members in check and go with the given processes and ensure conformism towards policies and guidelines. A leader, however, after learning to live by the rules, also looks beyond the existing rules and asks himself/herself what he/she needs to do to make things comfortable and most productive, even if that means working around the rules and creating newer avenues of working Revathi Turaga is an International Trainer and Inspirational Speaker.
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