People are trying to find successful profile, what is good and what not, to combine the best from both Managers and Leaders. We can find tons of information comparing them, very often you will see “managers VS leaders”. In this blog I would like to highlight a few characteristics of both different roles and say there is no good or bad choice what role to execute, the best choice is always the one which will help improving your organization and yourself.
Manager is a formal position. There is a theory about the basic functions of management by Henri Fayol in his book “General and industrial management is: “Several basic functions: planning (define goals and make plan); organization (distribution of tasks); leadership (motivation at different levels in the company / organization); control and monitoring. Leader on the other hand is mostly seen as a person who has the qualities to lead a team for a common cause for achieving goals and fighting with problems. Evaluation of the team and promote self-confidence, mentoring, recognition of what the team is doing and has achieved are some of the qualities we can often see.
Here are some other activities and responsibilities
A successful leader must combine all the qualities required for the formal position of manager and the other way around. After all they both motivate their teams or followers and achieve their goals.
Just like the Six thinking hats of Eduard de Bono which we use to make decisions, we just have to change the hat according to the situation:
There is an approach called “Scrum Master”, used mostly in product development AND.. In my opinion is a good combination of both manager and leader characteristics and could be adapted and used in the nonprofit and social sector. This approach was established in the field of management of software projects. Some of the specific methods and techniques are: daily team meetings where everyone gives feedback on what they do or what obstacle they meet. One of the main roles in the overall approach “Scrum master” is rather coordinator of tasks within the team and their protector from different negative influences while working on achievement of targets from the outside and helping the team in self-management. This role combines results orientation with team members work focus.
I think the best choice is to be both – if you want to report expenditures or meet absolute deadline you’d better be manager. If you want to unite people for a cause or for solving a problem you’d better be leader.