Updated: Mar 11, 2022
The dream is for all managers to be leaders, but this is often not the reality. Many managers may believe they are leaders but fail to understand what this concept actually entails. A lack of leadership skills in managers can have a detrimental effect on one’s business resulting in lost revenue and well-being in the workplace.
Leadership is not a title; it is a way of being. Although it can be trained it also needs to be fostered and valued by an organization. Here are some key differences between leaders and managers without leadership qualities.
Leaders & Managers
Vision and Values: Managers with leadership skills align themselves with the values and vision of the company they work for. They also inspire their team to also become aware and enthusiastic about the organization’s values helping them to align them with their own personal values which creates more motivation and desire to succeed. Managers who lack leadership skills often fail to align with the organization's larger vision and values while only focusing on deadlines and completing tasks.
Responsibility: Managers who see themselves as a leader take responsibility for their actions and the impact they have on others. They acknowledge not just their success but also their failures. Managers on the other hand will often only take responsibility for their successes and not their failures. Often, they will blame others when there are negative consequences based on their direction.
Prioritize: Managers with leadership skills lead by example. They can easily prioritize things for the team and delegate effectively. They can communicate and clarify what matters most and commit to making those priorities happen. They practice accountability and create a path that everyone is able to easily understand and follow. Mangers without leadership skills fail to prioritize things effectively which often confuses the team resulting in overwhelm and disorganization.
Flexibility: Managers with leadership skills are able to respond and adapt effectively. They can change the course of action when needed with ease and agility. They are able to evaluate situations frequently, learn from failure, and adjust accordingly. Mangers without leadership qualities may fail to recognize when something is not working quick enough since they fear failure and change. This often results in missed opportunities and a waste of time and resources.
Share the Spotlight: Managers with leadership skills encourage others to step into the spotlight. They create developmental opportunities for others and enjoy seeing those around them succeed. They value personal growth and encourage the development of the team. Managers who lack leadership qualities often struggle to share the spotlight and undervalue others and fail to notice learning opportunities and growth.
Cooperation and Trust: Managers who are leaders create an environment based on trust and cooperation. They acknowledge and appreciate the skills of their team. They enjoy building connections and share responsibilities with others. Managers who lack leadership qualities often believe they are the only ones who can complete the job properly. They tend to micromanage others, work in isolation, and avoid asking for help and feedback.
Relationships: Managers who are leaders work to develop healthy professional relationships. They demonstrate clear communication, set reasonable boundaries, and avoid making assumptions. They take time to listen to their team and are not afraid to ask and answer challenging questions. They foster an environment where others feel comfortable being themselves and voicing their thoughts and feelings. Managers who lack leadership qualities do not take the time to connect with the team and fail to communicate effectively. As a result, it fosters an environment of distrust and spirit declines.
Intuition: Managers who are leaders rely on their intuition and instincts. They are creative and use their imagination to overcome barriers and find solutions. They are curious and tune into the energy around them, so they know when things are working or not. Managers who are not leaders often just fall back on the rules and fail to see the bigger picture.