Both may sound the same, may even have the same results, but there are several resounding differences.
Managers manage tasks. Leaders lead people.
Managers delegate. Leaders motivate.
Managers demand rigor and routine. Leaders inspire trust and innovation.
Managers are given authority. Leaders earn respect.
Managers have employees. Leaders have supporters.
One is a title, the other is a mentality.
Managers have a transactional relationship with their subordinates. A manager instructs what needs to be completed; the subordinate completes the task as asked. Managers may lead with a fear mentality, which does not provide room for growth, stability or respect. Leaders appeal to his or her team’s motivational needs. Leaders have charisma, a positive attitude and hold themselves accountable. The ability to encourage others to work towards common goals while supporting individualism, creativity and advancement is the mentality needed in a successful leader.
The list below provides 10 Keys to Cultivating a Leader Mentality:
– Bill Mansell, president of MindPerk, Inc. :
- Countenance. This is much more than planting a smile on your face (although you should definitely start there). It means greeting people warmly, looking them in the eye with a genuinely kind and caring manner. (If you don’t feel particularly kind or caring at first, that’s all right. Just act the part. Pretty soon you will begin to feel it, too.)
- Trust. Team members need to know that they can trust you to treat them fairly and courteously. Always give others credit for their work and their ideas. This creates an environment where they feel safe giving their best effort and sharing their best ideas.
- Positive Atmosphere. Everyone does better in an upbeat, positive environment. Eliminate complaining, whining, and negative criticism from your speech. Pretty soon, others will follow your lead. Have fun with people and try to make their lives more interesting and enjoyable. Even the most difficult job can become more bearable when you’re around people with a cheerful attitude. Be that person.
- Be a Leader, Not a Boss. A boss expects to be obeyed by virtue of his or her position, and therefore comes across as demanding, unfeeling, and, well, bossy. People follow a leader because of the relationship, not the position.
- Be a Team Player. Jump in and help whenever necessary. Never ask someone else to do or learn something that you wouldn’t be willing to do or learn yourself.
- Treat People Like Human Beings. No one likes being treated like a machine or a number. Human resources are not assets to be exploited. They are individuals with emotions, ideas, and creative talents. Learn their names. Become familiar with their hobbies, their family, and their personality. You’ll get far more out of a person when you treat them like a human rather than a resource. Never put others down. And when they do something extraordinary, let them shine.
- Be Human Yourself. Don’t always be the perfect person. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try your best. You should. But it never hurts to let people know that you didn’t always know everything, and that you, too, made mistakes and learned from them.
- Involve Team Members. Get their input in setting the vision, rules and structure of your organization. Then insist that for the good of all, everyone comply.
- Express Sincere Appreciation. Say “thank you” early and often. Set a goal to compliment an individual five times for every one time they need to be corrected. Be quick to praise a job well done.
- Reprimand Respectfully. If people need to be corrected or disciplined, do so without delay, with kindness and an obvious concern for their well being. When team members are reprimanded by someone who they know genuinely likes them and wants them to be successful, they will be much more likely to respond positively than if the reprimand comes from someone whom they dislike or fear.
Success Tip: People with charisma have amazing influence over others. They pass through life inspiring greatness, uplifting spirits, and planting seeds of excellence. They are a valuable part of any team and command higher salaries. The truth is, whether you are in management or not, you need to cultivate charisma. It will help you at work, in your family, and your social life. (Mansell, 2012)
While reviewing the characteristics of a leader, factors besides personality contributed to an individual’s nature of being a leader.
“A surprising number of these leaders had some form of handicap in their lives which they had to overcome. Some had traumatic childhoods, some had problems such as dyslexia, others were shorter than average. This perhaps taught them the independence of mind that is needed to go out on a limb and not worry about what others are thinking about you.” (Leadership vs. Management, 2012)
While that may mean some individuals have a predisposition to be leaders than others, it does not mean that leadership cannot be learned or developed. More importantly, all individuals should strive to strengthen their ability to lead and not manage.
Mansell, B., Cultivate Charisma. (n.d.). Business Training Self Improvement Resources – MindPerk. Retrieved (11/30/2012) from http://www.mindperk.com/articles/cultivate-charisma/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Cultivate-Charisma&utm_campaign=OMM20121130
Leadership vs. Management. (n.d.). Changing minds and persuasion — How we change what others think, believe, feel and do. Retrieved (11/30/12) from http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm