Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Manager or Leader – which best describes you?

The table below is my attempt to separate the traits of Managers from those of Leaders.  There are roles for both Managers and Leaders of course, and things are never quite as clearly defined as this table suggests, but for me this is a useful comparison that helps me modify my behavior if I feel I am slipping into the (more comfortable) role of managing when I should be leading (or vice-versa).  Personally I find that when riskier things aren’t going as well as I expected that my frustration leads to behavior from the left hand column when what is needed are the traits from the right hand column.

Demands obedience, controlling, trusts no-one fully

Objective is to repeat previous results but a little more cheaply or a little more efficiently

Cuts costs, limits variation

Plays it safe

Takes the credit

Points out flaws and criticizes mistakes

Makes decisions, gives answers

Has a short term view, focused on profit

Accepts the way things are done

Maintains and improves processes
Trusting, inspires trust in others, vulnerable

Heads for uncharted territory

Sees possibility, embraces innovation

Takes risks

Credits others

Recognises and praises accomplishments, sees mistakes as opportunities to learn

Asks questions to encourage others to solve problems, enables answers

Has a long term perspective, focused on the future

Challenges the way things are done

Develops people

Do you recognize yourself in this table?  Are you happy with where you find yourself and is your behavior what is best for your business?  Challenge yourself now and then – its what leaders do!

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