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

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 

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.