Hub for Jobs | Find the Right Job Vacancies in Nigeria

A Great Leader is better than a Good Manager.

A quote by Stephen Covey says “management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success but leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall”. Not all managers are good leaders, and managers that are bad leaders tend to become overbearing, controlling, and disliked by their subordinates. The difference between the two is what makes one more loved and appreciated than the other. Here are 10 reasons why you should be a great leader and not just a good manager.

1. Leaders Guide, Managers Instruct

True leaders are always willing to step in and offer advice when necessary, but step back and observe at other times. They trust the people that work for them to deliver value in their area of expertise. A good leader believes in the competence of his team. His team members know that they can always run back to their leader for help when they need it, but are not pressured to follow the leader’s own pattern grid by grid.

 Managers, on the other hand, assign tasks to their subordinates. They tell subordinates what to do, and go ahead to give a step-by-step guide on how to do it. This pattern, however, leaves very little room for growth and places the employee under pressure to do things the exact way he was instructed. An employee working under a manager will be scared to ask for help when he encounters situations he cannot handle.

2. Leaders are Valued while Managers are Obeyed.

There is an adage that says a good leader must learn how to follow before he can lead effectively. This singular trait is what makes a leader stand out from a manager. A leader understands his people and connects with them. The bond formed between a leader and his people makes them go beyond following him, to respecting him and attesting to his credibility unprovoked. A true leader is loved and valued for his empathy. He respects his people, and in return, they respect him as well.

A manager, however, is a boss. Things must be done his way, or they have been done the wrong way. Managers are only concerned with results, they give instructions and do not care about the process. An employee working under a manager will obey out of fear, not out of respect, and will be ever willing to switch loyalty to the next person in power as soon as the current manager is replaced.

3. Leaders are People-driven, while Managers are Purpose-driven

Good leaders have cracked the code, they know that people are the pillars of every establishment. Hence, they focus on building relationships with people rather than establishing dominance. They make promises and fulfill them, building loyalty and trust from stakeholders and employees alike. A true leader is an active listener.

Managers, however, focus on pleasing the algorithm – they forget that it is always changing. They set structures that work to achieve their goals, and focus on developing them to make them better.

While managers have tunnel vision and only focus on the goal and how to get the desired outcome, leaders focus on the people that can help them achieve set goals, connect with them, and leverage them. Leaders influence, while managers command.

4. Leaders are Open to Learning, Unlearning, and Relearning, while Managers Stick to the Plan

We grow and make progress when we learn something new every day. Leaders understand this and consistently strive to add to their storehouse of knowledge. A leader isn’t afraid to learn from his subordinate, he gives room for his employees to correct him when necessary and admits his faults in such situations. Hosting webinars, seminars and other forms of staff training comes easily to the leader, every opportunity for him and his team to grow is welcomed.

A manager, however, finds something that works and sticks to it. He is ready to follow a laid down pattern regardless if it is now outdated, as long as it works. A manager would rather spend time perfecting his already existing skills than acquiring new ones. He believes that as long as a system made him successful before, it will do so again. The problem with this is that it means he is not supportive of growth and is satisfied with getting the same results over and again as long as they are above average.

5. Leaders Plan Ahead, Managers think Short-term

True leaders are intentional, and every decision that they take is influenced by the vision they have. Leaders begin with the end in mind and stay motivated until they actualize the vision. A leader is willing to make decisions that might not be too favorable to him now but will be profitable in the future. He makes investments and has good foresight to predict profitable deals and collaboration.

Managers, on the other hand, work for momentary gratification. They are motivated by results and would rather focus on achieving a short-term goal than a long-term one. A typical manager would shy away from making investments that would yield returns in another person’s tenure, for fear of the next person getting the accolades. Most managers are easily swayed by words, receiving praises and acknowledgment is what keeps them motivated.  

6. Leaders Risk It, Managers Leave Risks

A leader is willing to take risks and try out new things. He is not scared to take on more staff or try a new method of doing things. When a leader makes a bad decision, he examines his actions, identifies his mistakes, re-strategizes, and tries again.

However, a manager is not willing to soil his hands or stain his impeccable reputation. He might sell the idea to others, but would not take a risk himself. To a manager, new is uncertain, and he would rather be safe than sorry. Managers would rather avoid a problem or try to circumvent it than face it head-on. Most managers are terrible at conflict resolution, and would sooner fire an employee than call him out on his behavior. Unfortunately, this means that a company with a manager instead of a leader will miss out on collaboration deals and other opportunities to grow and expand, often.

7. Leaders are Flexible and Dynamic, Managers are Stoic and Rigid

True leaders are innovative and embrace change with open arms. They are willing to move from good to better even if it costs them more money. A leader gives everyone a fair opportunity and seeks the opinions of his team members before making a big decision. He is quick to adapt to changes, and always has a plan B.

Managers are skeptical of change and prefer to stick with what they know even if a better way is offered. A manager will never alter standard protocol or systems, unless it is initiated by direct order from his superiors – it will be immediately dismissed if it came from his subordinates.

8. Leaders Share the Vision, Managers Set Goals

People will only give their best efforts to further a cause that they believe in. Good leaders know this, that’s why they do not hesitate to share the vision with their employees to encourage contributions. They understand that together everyone achieves more so they ensure their followers view the vision as a collective dream rather than one man’s dream. Employees who work with a leader see themselves as a part of something bigger and are always ready to contribute their two cents to see the team vision actualized.

Managers, however, focus on setting goals and delegating duties. Employers who work under a manager often know what to do and how to do it effectively, but rarely ever know why. Managers like to be in control and always exercise authority over their subordinates to ensure that they reach a set goal or surpass it.

9. Leaders are Original, Managers Copy the Original

Everyone is unique, and leaders understand that. They approach each task and target with their own formula derived from a diligent study. A true leader is confident in his abilities and can comfortably defend his choices. He is authentic, transparent, and willing to be a voice in the crowd, not just an echo.

Most managers, however, copy the pattern and behaviors of successful managers before them and follow such judiciously. They do not try to tweak or reinvent any standard rules for fear of not getting a good result. Some managers are often so caught up trying to live up to set standards that they lose their authenticity in the process.

10. Leaders Create Value, Managers Curate Value

True leaders strive to create value. They lead by example and assign tasks to themselves as well when they delegate jobs. A good leader is a team player – he leads by example.

Managers, however, oversee work productivity and would rather not be a part of it. A typical manager will delegate tasks to his subordinates and micromanage them till they execute the assigned tasks because he has nothing better to do. This is the most common difference between a leader and a manager.

Why should you be a Leader and not just a Manager?

A popular saying shares that leaders lead people while managers manage work output. If you are a good manager, you will get consistent results. However, as a good leader, you get faster results with better quality of work done. Being a true leader and a good manager will make you an exceptional boss.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment