Leader vs. Manager

I was reading this hilarious article saying that it will take 10 Rahul Gandhi to change a light bulb. The irony is that he is one of the prime contenders of the post of Prime-Minister of India and I am yet to meet a single individual who believes Rahul is a leader they would like to follow (yet he might get elected). Almost all management schools call their students as leaders even though all they teach is management. Are the 2 same?

Almost managers I have met have basically a dashboard through which he could count & monitor. They are well entrenched in the status quo and work best in repetitive chores (where the same set of input, process leads to the same & measurable results). Leader on the other hand are visionaries who have a more long term horizon and is more interested in creating value rather than just counting it. A leader has a circle of influence (rather than power) and people follow because they want to and not because they have been asked to.

Honestly both leaders and managers have their own unique and different position in the organization and a man wearing both hats is nothing but a joker. A manager is valued for his ability to execute & co-ordinate (break down a complex vision into a set of simple tasks and making sure they are completed). They are valued for their ability to direct, plan and anticipate. They create processes, rules and operating procedure to ensure repeatability of the results rather than constantly challenging nature of the leader.

Just because you manage an account and have 10 people reporting to you, you become a leader? Do you actually need to be a manager to be a leader? In today’s company every second person seems to be calling them a leader, but what are they leading?

– The manager administers; the leader innovates and creates new ways.

– The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.

– The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.

– The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

– The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

– The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.

– The manager imitates; the leader originates.

– The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

– The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.

– The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

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