How to Shift From Managing to Leading Your Team

What’s the difference between a manager and a leader?

Though both hope to motivate their employees to complete their tasks, only one of them is more likely to get the job done.

See, managers typically rely on keeping a close watch of their employees’ every move. Micromanagement is the name of the game and everyone is on edge. A team under this pressure is bound to make a mistake—and when they do, it will be a costly one.

A manager in this position is also likely to bark orders and rule with an authoritative fist.

Then there are leaders. The complete opposite.

A leader trusts her employees and knows that they are the right person to complete the job. So instead of micromanaging, leaders spend their time encouraging employees and creating a shared vision that everyone can jump on board with.

Who do you think you’d be more successful working for?

I’d imagine that most of us would choose the second style, the leader, hands down.

Thanks to this HubSpot infographic, we can take a look at what actually makes a leader different from a manager.

Managers Leaders Infographic

Standing Out as a Leader

A manager tells her employees what needs to be done and how to do it.

On the other hand, a leader sells the idea as a vision that everyone—no matter how low or high their job status—is a part of. Tasks aren’t seen as mere to-do lists that chain employees to their desks. Instead, tasks are seen for their contribution to the overall picture.

Leaders also set this picture, or vision, in-person. You won’t find passive emails and memos for communication like you would with a manager.

You’ll also find that leaders are focused on growth instead of settling for just meeting goals each quarter.

This is because leaders challenge the “norm” and keep their eyes on the horizon. They’re not bogged down with monthly metrics. This also helps them stay open to new opportunities and keeps them planning for the long haul.

Managers who refuse to update outdated systems and only focus on the bottom line won’t have this vision.

Another key distinguisher between managers and leaders is that the former relies on authority and an assertion of power and control. If the job doesn’t get done right, the employees already know there are consequences around the corner.

A leader sees this tight control as unnecessary. Leaders know their employees don’t need a babysitter. They don’t have to assign duties like a military drill sergeant. They create an environment that fosters new ideas and promotes individual growth.

Leaders say that the rules are meant to be broken. And following a map is unnecessary. Leaders enjoy paving new ways and freeing the red tape that holds people or the company back.

Sure, a leader will do the right thing, but this may involve bending the rules in some cases.

This is a huge no-no in the realm of managers. They believe roadmaps are a must-have and rules are there for a reason—no exceptions made. Not much in the way of inspiration, right?

While you may hold the official title of “manager”, it’s far better to be a leader.

Featured Image by Vecteezy!

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