Quite often, when people talk or write about the differences between leaders and managers, they make it sound as if leaders are first class and managers are, well, somewhere quite a bit below that! In reality, leaders and managers have a lot in common, and sometimes the dichotomy is a bit exaggerated. However, there are a few things that do differentiate a leader from a manager. Not good versus bad, just different.
- Hold a shorter term view
- Centered on a department
- Emphasize policies and procedures
- Focus on revenue allocation
- Think tactically
- Hold a longer term view
- Centered on the whole organization
- Emphasize innovation and change
- Focus on revenue generation
- Think systems
There is a lot of gray space between what a leader does and what a manager does as some of their responsibilities can seem similar. However, ALL of the differences listed above are important to the health and viability of an organization. If an organization gets over-managed and under-led, there will likely be declining innovation. And, if an organization gets over-led and under-managed, there will likely be an unhealthy amount of chaos. A healthy organization needs to be leader-driven and manager-implemented.
For assistance in thinking more about how the responsibilities of managers and leaders play out in your organization, contact us to speak with an experienced consultant!
Jay Desko is the Executive Director of The Center and serves on the Senior Leadership Team at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Jay brings experience in the areas of ministry assessment, leadership coaching, decision-making, and strategic questioning. Jay’s degrees include a B.S. in Bible, a M.Ed in Instructional Systems Design and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and Leadership.