Are you a LEADER or a MANAGER?

When you’re building value in your company, it’s vital to hire the right people for the right roles.

Throughout my blog, I’ve told stories of entrepreneurs who found success through either a Leader or Manager style. Both roles act in very different capacities, yet both are equally important in any organization.

However, Leaders and Managers are NOT the same thing.

You don’t want to make the mistake of hiring a Manager to be a Leader, or a Leader as a Manager. When you’re building value in your company, it’s vital to hire the right people for the right roles.

Each organization should look to fill Managerial positions, as well as Leadership roles. You cannot function with an organization full or Leaders, and your organization won’t get by with all Managers, either. It’s important to seek balance in your hiring practices when finding a person for each specific role.

As an entrepreneur, if you are seeking to hire a first employee or a partner, consider hiring someone with opposite characteristics from you. For example, if you are a Leader (as many entrepreneurs are), definitely seek to partner with a Manager.

But fear not- it’s actually very simple to ascertain the difference between Leaders and Managers. Here are a few of the most common traits of Leaders and Managers: 

Common Attributes and Functions of Leaders

LEADERS should be more focused on creating company culture and inspiring change. 

General Characteristics of Leaders: 

  • Positive
  • Change-oriented
  • Strategic
  • Proactive
  • Charismatic (However, there are many cases where leaders have not been charismatic)

Vital Functions of Leaders: 

  • Create the organizational culture
  • Take risk (the Leader should be taking risk, not the Manager)
  • Inspire people
  • Bring about change
  • Affect employee attitude

Common Attributes and Functions of Managers

Detail Oriented
MANAGERS are generally more concerned with the detail-oriented processes of an organization. 

Common Characteristics of Managers: 

  • Consistent
  • Detail-oriented
  • Tactical
  • Reactive
  • Structured 

Important Functions of Managers: 

  • Ensure consistent behavior
  • Develop subordinates (Not just manage, but also develop, improve, and help)
  • Affect performance and outcomes
  • Enforce culture (If your culture breaks down, other things start to break down behind it)
  • Avoid risk (For example, you don’t want a job injury in the warehouse)

So are you more of a Leader of a Manager?

I want to reiterate the importance of having both Leaders and Managers in an organization. One is not better than the other- they simply have very different roles to fulfill.

In many ways, Leaders and Managers balance each other out. For example, the Leader creates the company culture, while the Manager enforces it. The Leader should be taking risk, while the Manager focuses on policies to mitigate risk. The Leader is generally more big picture focused, while the Manager is ideally a detail-oriented person.

So, do you agree? 

Are you a Leader, or a Manager? 

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