We have always been told that leadership cannot be learnt, you have to be born with the skills required to influence people and make them see things from your point of view, you have to have a charismatic personality to get people to like you, which makes them more agreeable. But then does that mean we can all be managers ? To become a manager, we must have a certain set of specialised skills and the knowledge required to use those skills in the workplace. But these skills can be attained by anyone who wishes to become a manager, but not all of us can be leaders. Atlas thats what we think. Lets first try and look at what is that exactly differentiates a manager from a leader.
There are few key points we can take a look at that can help us understand what a manager does differently from a leader. The first being, a manager helps maintain the work environment, whereas a leader helps to develop it. A manager focuses on the internal components of a company such as the systems and structure, a leader focuses on the further development of the human component of the company. A manager does exactly what he’s told by his superiors, nothing more, nothing less, he/she has a short range view of things, a leader looks at the long term implications of all his/her actions and decisions. A manager will mostly be seen as a authoritarian figure by his sub-ordinates, he/she relies on control, whereas the leader is a figure of inspiration to his or her sub-ordinates and relies on inspiration. A manager will always ask how will it be done and by when will it done, they do not care about the methods used, they just care about achieving a result, a leader will always ask his sub-ordinates, What was done to achieve the desired result and why it was done in that manner, his or her focus is on understanding the logic behind the working. A manager will always try and imitate the work of others and whats been done by someone else previously, they do not have the desire to be more original or creative, but on the other hand a leader is always looking to stand out from the rest, do something that has never been done before, his entire working is based on the basis of originality and be as creative as possible. A manager will never question his superiors even if he thinks or knows they are wrong, because a manager believes in maintaining the chain of command within the organisational structure of the company, whereas a leader will always challenge authority not because he wants to break the chain of command but because he believe in doing, the right thing. A manager will always be on who has as a herd mentality and does not really try to state his or her own opinion, they like to maintain harmony, mainly because they are not driven by the desire to prove themselves, a leader on the other hand is an individual, he or she will love for others to see things from their point of view.
So now that we have a basic understanding of what are the differences between a leader and a manager, lets look at the different types of leadership styles. The first style we will look at is Laissez-faire, a leader who follows this style is one who lacks direct supervision over his employees and fails to provide them with any feedback, this style can lead to lack of control and increased costs. An autocratic leader is who one allows managers to make most of the decisions, this style deters creativity. The democratic style of leadership involves the leader seeking input from all his sub-ordinates, this style boosts employee morale. The transactional style of leadership involves performance based rewards and punishments, this style induces stress into the environment. The transformational style involves very high levels of communication, leaders will choose to focus on the bigger picture and delegate the smaller tasks.
We can see these different leadership styles being applied when we look at a company like apple. Former CEO Steve Jobs was a visionary leader, who brought ideas to life and followed the autocratic style of leadership, whereas current CEO Tim Cook follows a more transformational styles of leadership and just wants to see the company achieve its set targets. The following video tells us more about the difference of styles used between the two CEOs.
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Smallbusiness.chron.com. (2016). 5 Different Types of Leadership Styles. [online] Available at: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/5-different-types-leadership-styles-17584.html [Accessed 22 Jun. 2016].
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