Manager Vs Leader; Which Are You?

The terms “manager” and “leader” are often used interchangeably, but the truth is that they describe very different roles. Although both managers and leaders often stand at the head of an organisation and direct the path that a company takes, their attitudes and approaches are entirely different.   

While a manager could be someone who teaches their employees what the future of a business should look like, and how they can achieve specific goals, a leader is someone who creates a vision of success and inspires their team to connect and engage with the idea.

As a result, their team will want to follow, and in doing so, they will be committed to facing and overcoming whatever obstacles, they face as well as any uncertainties and risks.  

Often, a distinction is made in which management means “doing things right”, while leadership involves “doing the right things”.  While most people will share the characteristics of both great leaders and great managers, the following differences could help you establish which you are today and which you may prefer to be.  

1. Vision Vs Strategy

A leader is typically someone who thinks more about the “big picture” for a team, brand, or company, rather than focusing on which systems and processes will be needed to realise the vision.

Leaders outline the direction of the route they want to take and communicate the goals and milestones that need to be achieved along the way. Then they empower their teams and give them the freedom to achieve the goals. These professionals know what they want to accomplish, and believe in the ability of their team members to find the best path to success.  

Alternatively, managers focus more on what needs doing, what systems and processes are used and if they are being utilised in the ‘right way’. You could say that managers focus on managing ‘things’ rather than people.

Leaders consider the overall vision to be the most important factor in success, while managers concentrate on the details of how to bring that vision to life. The reality is an organisation requires
both.  

A great leader relies on imagination and creativity intended to motivate a group of employees towards a shared ambition. A manager looks at what worked for them in the past and builds a strategy based on numbers, data, and measurable results; specifying exactly what needs to be completed to reach a goal. One doesn’t work without the other. Often, however, individuals have a natural preference for one of these roles. Both can also be learnt.  

2. Growth Vs Sustainability

When a manager thinks about how they can be successful, they’re often concerned with devising a plan to sustain whatever they’re managing. They are inclined to look for the best ways to keep a system working for as long as possible. While they may look for improvements, a leader is more likely to look for change and innovation. The latter provides greater opportunity for development and growth, both of systems and people.   

A leader is more willing to take risks because they know the only way to evolve, is to change, they  inspire others to do the same.

 

3. People Vs Systems 

A great manager knows how to create a system for success. They evaluate the strategies used in the past to make informed decisions about the future. Managers not only put the right systems into place for exceptional results, but they also know how to get the right employees involved within that system too – delegating tasks to the people with the most appropriate skills.  

By focusing on the people behind the work, managers can access an incredible amount of knowledge that’s impossible to achieve with a company handbook. While managers are crucial to organisational success, a leader recognises what it takes to motivate people, inspire change, and encourage action. 

4. Courage Vs Discipline

As we have already mentioned, a manager tends to be more risk averse their focus is on bringing a strategy to life by following using systems, processes and guidelines. They keep individuals in their team on track and make sure that everything comes together as planned. They often have an attention to detail and can monitor progress ensuring deadlines are met. 

Contrastingly, a leader’s life is often filled with risk and uncertainty. Leaders make decisions based on educated risks when planning what’s next for the business and team. Sometimes this can involve setting a course that takes the company and team into uncharted waters.

To shoulder such decisions, taking both responsibility and accountability requires courage. Generally,
leaders have a plentiful supply of it.   

 

About Resource on Demand 

Resource on Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company. We assist the world’s leading organisations in growing their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill roles that span across digital marketing, marketing automation, Human Capital Management, CRM system management and, Salesforce developer, Salesforce consultant and Salesforce admin jobs. 

The team at Resource on Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 (0)20 8123 7769 

The 7 Skills Every Digital Leader Needs to Be Successful

A digitally-disrupted workforce has changed the way businesses perform today and paved the way for a brand-new future of leadership and innovation. According to a McKinsey study, 65% of senior executives interviewed believe that digital technologies can increase income for their companies over the next three years. Yet, despite these predictions, the primary obstacle facing today’s businesses is a lack of management capability.  

Ultimately, if businesses want to take advantage of digital transformation, then leaders need to adopt new behaviours and roles to drive their companies forward. If a leader can frame a vision of a technology-infused business positively, then the brand can begin to adapt to the modern era.  

Here, we’ll look at some of the skills that marketing and leadership professionals in the workplace need to have to move forward into the digital age, and especially communicate at their next interview. 

Those these insights only cover part of the digital journey; they may help to provide a map into the abilities today’s hiring managers should be
looking for.  

1. Digital Vision 

Technology is a constantly evolving and dynamic thing! As a leader within the digital age, it’s crucial to be able to foresee the outcomes of what you might implement today and the potential regarding where new technologies might take you in the future.  

As you stay on top of the latest discoveries in the marketplace, you’ll also need to think about what’s coming, and how new changes can help your business grow.  

Importantly, this doesn’t mean focusing all decisions around the concept of technology. Digital leaders also need to be able to implement “emotional intelligence” to understand how AI, RPA, and new technology can support, rather than overwhelm their team members 

2. Advocacy Abilities

Often, the core values that are necessary for any leader will remain the same, regardless of the era. Leaders always need the power to encourage and inspire their followers into action. To do this, leaders will also need a solid knowledge in digital trends. As the source of technology knowledge, it’s the responsibility of digital leaders to keep their staff educated, and help them implement new ideas.  

As a leader in the digital age, it’s up to you to set the tone for the remainder of your organisation. Advocacy comes when you energise the workforce and send them marching forwards to your digital vision.  

 
3. Inspiration 

We touched on the concept of inspiration above. In an age of digital transformation, today’s leaders need to empower their people to move through a complicated journey as productively and efficiently as possible, often by educating themselves on the nuances of new technologies.  

As a leader, it’s important for you to learn as much as you can about the solutions you want to implement, then demonstrate its possibilities to your followers by “walking the walk”.  

In other words, it’s not enough to simply have a digital vision; you also need to practice the actions that you’re advocating for.  

4. Communication 

Communication skills will always be crucial to any leader. One positive solution may be to consider the digital messaging practices you currently use and think about how you can adapt them to outline your digital vision.  

On the other hand, keep in mind that a unified workforce moves more successfully towards a goal. Replacing an “authoritarian” leader approach with the approach of a leader that’s focused on empowering a community could help to enhance collaboration in the workforce, and encourage employees to team up and focus on their digital future.  

5. Adaptability

As we mentioned above, technology is a dynamic and fluctuating thing. Exploring new technologies means exploring new solutions in how you approach the workforce. For instance, the edges of all workforces are currently expanding, with professionals from new generations implementing new styles of work into the average office space.  

Adaptability is often one of the most challenging skills for a leader to learn, but it’s important to be able to grow and change with the times if you want to make the most of the digital revolution that lies ahead.  

6. Understanding

It’s impossible to implement new technology into a workforce if a leader can’t show a solid understanding of what they’re advocating for. The digital world has introduced a new language to the modern environment, and senior leaders must learn how to translate that language on the behalf of their employees.  

Additionally, leaders must understand which technology features they need to use to track the performance and outcomes of their initiatives. After all, it’s important for any leader to be able to show how changes to the workforce could have a positive impact on the business.  

7. Adapting Leaders for The Digital World 

While the fundamental features of successful leadership usually remain similar throughout the ages, it’s worth noting that the digital revolution is presenting new challenges for the modern business. Changes in the way we work mean that leaders will need to take on new traits that help them to move with the times.  

As the possibilities for organisations continue to change with the adoption of everything from collaborative technology, to AI, leaders need to be prepared to introduce the most productive new solutions to their teams, in a way that’s inspiration and easy to implement.  

 

About Resource On Demand 

Resource On Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company. We assist the world’s leading organisations to grow their technology teams. Supporting companies to fill roles that span across digital marketing, marketing automation, Human Capital Management, CRM system management and, Salesforce developer, Salesforce consultant and Salesforce admin jobs. 

 

The team at Resource On Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 professionals each year. To find out how we can support you call us on +44 20 8123 7769 or rod@resourceondemand.com. 

Leadership Development Lessons from the World’s Greatest Leaders

There are leaders in every industry, from marketing to sales automation. However, it’s not always easy to pinpoint what sets these leaders apart from the crowd. The ingredients of impeccable leadership are elements that often come under consideration at professional conferences surrounding the development of technology, and economies. One of the ways that professionals expand their understanding of great leaders is to look at people across a range of sectors who can show us how it’s done.

Fortune’s list of the “World’s Greatest Leaders” was recently updated for the fourth year. This outline includes an insight into some of the most inspirational leaders in both small and large organisations across the world. Here, we’ll look at just some of the lessons that these experts can teach us.

 

Lesson 1: Leaders Hire the Right Talent

When creating a team they can be proud of, today’s leaders know that they need to focus on diversity and talent. Research indicates that diverse leadership teams are more likely to contribute to business success, and that’s why managers and human resource professionals have to think carefully about their recruitment strategies.

Hiring the best starts with knowing what to look for in today’s competitive environment. Leaders search for intelligence, but not just in the form of IQ. They also look for people who are creative, adaptable, and versatile. Leaders seek out the benefits of unusual talents and new skills that might help their businesses to evolve.

It was the search for diversity and skill that first convinced the head coach of the American NFL League, Bill Walsh, to bring more African Americans into the coaching ranks. Not only did this move help to improve Bill’s own team, but it also changed the future of professional football too.

 

Lesson 2: Leaders Need to Evolve and Embrace Technology

One consistent characteristic that can often be found in today’s leaders is their ability to adapt to their environment. Today, the world is constantly growing and changing, with new technology and strategies emerging every day. Something we are all too aware of in our own industry. For leaders to take advantage of this fluctuating marketspace, they need to understand and leverage technology in a way that has a positive impact.

For instance, Shakira is currently the most digitally-popular female celebrity online, with 43 million Twitter followers, and 104 million Facebook followers. The reason that Shakira has been listed as a world leader is that she’s learned how to use these new digital platforms to support her cause.

To be a great leader, you don’t have to be a social media expert, but you do need to be in the right position to take advantage of the latest technology. From salesforce solutions to marketing automation, companies either need leadership development programs in place for their industry, or access to the right talent pool in the job market.

 

Lesson 3: Leaders Need a Clear Vision

Although the definition of what makes a great leader is something that’s often under scrutiny, many experts agree that leadership begins with a clear direction and vision. For instance, Raj Panjabi from “Last Mile Health”, wanted to take steps to help and educate people in third-world countries.

In simple terms, for a leader to be effective, he or she needs to prompt passion and innovation from his or her followers. In order for a group to be moved towards an end goal, they first need a clear vision for what they want to achieve, and an idea of what needs to be done to cultivate success. Often, the best leaders know how to engage other people in their team when it comes to developing a shared vision, and bringing an idea of the future to life.

 

Lesson 4: Leaders Need Great Character

For any person to be accepted as a leader, they first need to act like a leader. Often, this means showing a combination of specific character traits, including drive, confidence, and accountability.

While accountability is something that eventually catches up to everyone who under-performs, or fails to meet their goals, the best leaders aren’t afraid of taking responsibility for their actions. For instance, a few years ago, Facebook was slow off the mark when it came to making mobile work. However, Zuckerberg quickly acknowledged his mistake and made a change to his business.

 

Lesson 5: Leaders are Teachers

Finally, we’ve already discussed how great leaders need to adapt and learn as their industry changes, but it’s worth noting that leaders can also help to shape the change around them, by delivering lessons to the people in their community. Leaders should be equipped with the knowledge to give technical insights into their businesses that employees can’t get elsewhere.

After all, a leader should know his industry inside and out. The best person to teach someone about a vision is the person who created that vision in the first place. Additionally, leaders can also offer a second layer of lessons in the advice that they offer about how to lead organisations, foster collaboration, and encourage growth.

Tony Burch, for instance, the billionaire and entrepreneur thanks Ralph Lauren for teaching her that having a “complete vision” for a company is essential to leadership.

 

Becoming an Industry Leader

One of the most amazing features of great leaders is that they make leading look easy. However, as we all know – it isn’t. Leadership requires confidence, courage, and persistence. However, the attributes listed above are things that can be learned and cultivated by any professional. If you’re willing to do what it takes to be a great leader, then you’ll accomplish great things.