Are You a Manager or a Leader?

When you are in a position of power within your company, you may feel pressured to ask yourself, “Am I a manager or a leader?” Although the terms have similar meanings, many people are under the impression that it is better to be considered a leader rather than just a manager. But the truth is, managers and leaders are essentially the same thing.   

In anticipation of the release of the revised edition of his book, “The Little Black Book of Leadership,” Dr. Todd Dewett posted an excerpt on LinkedIn in which he examines the similarities between managers and leaders.

Management Versus Leadership

If you ask someone about the differences between managers and leaders, they may say something along the lines of: “Managers deal with the present, while leaders deal with the future.” According to Todd, this is an untrue statement.

The excerpt from Todd’s book begins with various quotes from a website that assists United States government officials in enhancing their leadership skills. The website lists differences between managers and leaders all centered on the idea that leaders are more innovative than managers. The statements included in the list send the message that managers stick to the hard facts while leaders think more outside the box.

“Leader” Has Become a More Exciting Term Than “Manager”

When people hear “manager,” they may think of a strict boss at work, whereas hearing “leader” may make their mind jump to a successful person whom they consider a role model. This is because “leader” has become an exciting term often used to praise someone for taking initiative. Although managers also take initiative in their jobs, they are not deemed as highly as leaders.

In the list that Todd quoted, each statement makes managers seem more mundane than leaders. Take this quote, for example: “A manager is concerned with finding the facts; a leader makes decisions.” Making decisions sounds a lot more productive than simply finding facts, which further drives the point that leadership is a more exciting concept than management.

Evidently, society has taken the exciting characteristics of management and used it to describe leadership. As a result, the term “leader” has become a fun and idealized version of “manager.” Despite this, Todd says, managers and leaders are no different.  

All Managers are Leaders and All Leaders are Managers

At the end of the day, Todd writes, all managers are leaders and all leaders are managers. All managers serve to lead their team in the right direction while all leaders are in charge of managing people, tasks and procedures to ensure that all operations run smoothly. Despite what you may believe, managers and leaders share the same tasks and both must serve as role models for those they lead.

No matter where you stand on the manager versus leader debate, Todd concludes by writing that one thing everyone must do no matter what is focus on being the best leader possible. To read more from “The Little Black Book of Leadership,” click here.

Book a Leadership Keynote Speaker Today

Leadership speakers provide attendees with the tools they need to be successful leaders themselves. Whether you consider yourself a manager, leader or both, hearing a keynote from a leadership expert such as Todd Dewett will help you see a whole new perspective you never considered before. If you are searching for a leadership keynote speaker for your next event, call 1.800.345.5607 to learn more about leadership expert Todd Dewett.


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