This article touches on the difference between being a leader as opposed to being a manager, covers leadership traits and what motivates people to be leaders.
Leading vs. Managing ?
Are you a manager or a leader?
Contrary to what might think they are very different.
Learning whether you are more of a leader or manager will help you gain the insight and self-confidence that comes with knowing more about yourself.
As a result, you will become more effective when dealing with others, and running your own business.
We are going to take a look at the styles of managers versus leaders, the attitudes regarding their goals, their basic conceptions of what work entails, their relationships with others, and their sense of self and how it develops.
We will examine leadership development and discover what criteria is necessary for leaders to reach their full potential.
Managers – emphasize rationality and control
They are problem-solvers, looking at the best ways to achieve results so that people will continue to contribute to a business.
They are persistent, tough-minded, hard-working, intelligent, analytical, tolerant and have goodwill toward others.
They adopt impersonal, almost passive, attitudes toward goals; decide upon goals based on necessity instead of desire and are therefore deeply tied to their organization’s culture; tend to be reactive since they focus on current information.
They look at work as a process to establish strategies and makes decisions by combining people and ideas.
They coordinate and balance opposing views and are good at reaching compromises and mediating conflicts between opposing values and perspectives.
They tolerate practical, mundane work because of strong survival instinct which makes them risk-averse.
They prefer working with others, solitary activity makes them anxious
They are collaborative; maintain a low level of emotional involvement in relationships and attempt to reconcile differences, seek compromises, and establish a balance of power.
They relate to people according to the role they play in a decision-making.
They focus on how things get done, maintain controlled and rational.
They may be viewed by others as inscrutable, detached, and manipulative.
They report that their lives have been straightforward and peaceful.
They have a sense of self as a guide to conduct and attitude which is derived from a feeling of being at home and in harmony at home and work.
See themselves as conservators and regulators of an existing order of affairs with which they personally identify and from which they gain rewards.
They report that their role is in step with their ideaa of responsibility and duty.
They display a life development process which focuses on socialization at work and in life.
Leaders – are perceived as brilliant, but sometimes loners.
They achieve control of themselves before they try to control others.
They can visualize a purpose and are imaginative, passionate.
They can be Contrarians and often take risks.
They tend to be active since they envision and promote their ideas instead of reacting to current situations.
They shape ideas instead of responding to them and are goal oriented.
They provide a vision that alters the way people think about what is desirable, possible, and necessary.
They develop new approaches to long-standing problems and open issues to new options; first, use their vision to excite people and only then develop choices which give those images substance.
They focus people on shared ideals and raise their expectations; work from high-risk positions because of strong dislike of mundane work
They maintain inner perceptiveness that they can use in their relationships with others and relate to people in intuitively.
They focus on what events and decisions mean to participants, are often either loved or hated.
They create systems where human relations may be volatile, intense, and disorganized.
They usually have not had an easy time in life, marked by a constant struggle to find some sense of order.
They do not take things for granted and are not satisfied with the status- quo.
They often work in organizations but they never belong to them.
Their sense of self is not exclusive to work roles, memberships, or other social indicators.
They seek opportunities for change in all facets of their lives.
Managers and leaders are very different, there are definite strengths and weaknesses of both types of individuals.
Managers are very good at maintaining the status-quo and adding stability and order to our culture. However, they may not be as good at instigating change and envisioning the future.
Leaders are very good at stirring people’s emotions, raising their expectations, and taking them in new directions, not always good.
They often suffer from neuroses and have a tendency toward self-absorption and preoccupation.
If you are planning on owning your own business, you must develop management skills,you also need to be a good leader.
Leaders need strong one-to-one relationships, as with teachers they encountered whose strengths were in cultivating talent in order to reach their full potential.
If you have never had such a relationship you need to find a teacher/mentor you can connect with and who can help you develop your natural talents and interests.
Leaders of tomorrow are visionary, are both learners and teachers and have a strong sense of ethics and work to build integrity in their organizations.
The traits of an effective leader include the following:
Emotional stability. Good leaders must be able to tolerate frustration and stress. Overall, they must be well-adjusted and have the psychological maturity to deal with anything they are required to face.
Leaders are often times competitive and decisive and usually enjoy overcoming obstacles. Overall, they are assertive in their thinking style as well as their attitude in dealing with others.
Enthusiasm. Leaders are usually seen as active, expressive, and energetic. They are often very optimistic and open to change. Overall, they are generally quick and alert and tend to be uninhibited.
Leaders are often dominated by a sense of duty and tend to be very exacting in character. They usually have a very high standard of excellence and an inward desire to do one’s best. They also have a need for order and tend to be very self-disciplined.
Leaders tend to be spontaneous risk-takers. They are usually socially aggressive and generally thick-skinned. Overall, they are responsive to others and tend to be high in emotional stamina.
Good leaders are practical, logical, and to-the-point.
They tend to be low in sentimental attachments and comfortable with criticism.
They are usually insensitive to hardship and overall, are very poised.
Self-confidence and resiliency are common traits among leaders. They tend to be free of guilt and have little or no need for approval. They are generally secure and free from guilt and are usually unaffected by prior mistakes or failures.
Leaders were found to be controlled and very precise in their social interactions. Overall, they were very protective of their integrity and reputation and consequently tended to be socially aware and careful, abundant in foresight, and very careful when making decisions or determining specific actions.
Beyond these basic traits, leaders of today must also possess traits which will help them motivate others and lead them in new directions.
Leaders of the future must be able to envision the future and convince others that their vision is worth following. To do this, they must have the following personality traits:
Long hours and some travel are usually a prerequisite for leadership positions, especially as your company grows.
Remaining aware and focused are two of the greatest obstacles you will have to face as a leader.
Rapid changes in the world today combined with information overload result in an inability to “know” everything. In other words, reasoning and logic will not get you through all situations. In fact, more and more leaders are learning to the value of using their intuition and trusting their “gut” when making decisions.
To be a good leader, personal power and recognition must be secondary to the development of your employees.
In other words, maturity is based on recognizing that more can be accomplished by empowering others than can be by ruling others.
Business leaders today put a strong emphasis on teamwork. Instead of promoting an adult/child relationship with their employees, leaders create an adult/adult relationship which fosters team cohesiveness.
Being able to “put yourself in the other person’s shoes” is a key trait of leaders today.
Without empathy, you can’t build trust. And without trust, you will never be able to get the best effort from your employees.
People usually perceive leaders as larger than life.
Charisma plays a large part in this perception. Leaders who have charisma are able to arouse strong emotions in their employees by defining a vision which unites and captivates them.
Using this vision, leaders motivate employees to reach toward a future goal by tying the goal to substantial personal rewards and values.
It’s important to remember that people are forever learning and changing.
Circumstances and persistence are essential in the developmental process of any leader.
If your goal is to become a leader, work on developing those areas of your personality that you feel you lack
If you have all of the basic traits but do not consider yourself very much of a “people” person, try taking classes or reading books on empathy.
On the other end, if relating to others has always come naturally to you, but you have trouble making logical decisions, try learning about tough-mindedness and how to develop more psychological resistance.
Leaders are rarely born, there is a learning curve!!