I received two related questions in a comment about Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part III). They help us refine the difference further, so I decided to answer them in a post of this continuing series. They are:
- How do you determine whether you are a manager or a leader?
- Is there an objective way to determine this?
Objectively, it’s much easier to determine if you are a manager than a leader because the former is a designated position in an organizational hierarchy. A leader isn’t necessarily so defined; it’s more subjective. Leadership is not determined objectively. This becomes easier to see if we remember two perspectives:
- A leader doesn’t have to be a manager.
- A leader can take on many forms.
My post about informal organizational power, which is also a supplement to Part II of this series, clarifies these two perspectives by showing where a non-management leader could derive her influencing power (i.e. expertise, achievements, personality, intelligence, experience). As a result, she could exhibit leadership by initiating a new service, growing an existing one, developing new markets, receiving high service ratings or having great sales.
Now, it’s often true that we describe managers as leaders, but it doesn’t mean they are. Part I of this series discusses this. A manager who is not a leader will have severe problems getting his employees to change behaviors; when they do, their behavior will be more compliant than inspired.
Still, sometimes the only way to know you’re a leader is to turn around and see if someone is following. It’s not unusual to be one and not know it. However, an organization chart clearly states if you’re a manager. This is a vital difference between leadership and management.
- Leadership versus Management and Their Difference
- Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part II)
- Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part III)
- Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part IV)
- Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part V)
- Aligned Leadership And The Leadership vs Management Debate