Businesses are living organisms given life by the team that tirelessly works towards a goal. With creative people being at the helm of such a venture, new changes in ideas, choices, and actions are given shape each day. This makes each business enterprise as complex as a life: growing, changing, learning and prospering. This characteristic also makes businesses unpredictable. Therefore, success in business always depends on the mutual efforts of the team behind the business, and a leader’s capability to understand his/her teammates.
In such a scenario, a leader is often torn between the ideologies of pushing the team to do more and inspiring the team to excel.
‘Leader’ and ‘Manager’ are both very commonly used words in the world of organizations, sometimes interchangeably. In a way it makes sense to call managers ‘leaders’ and not other way around, as managers do lead their respective teams towards identified goals. However, if we are to make a closer inspection to determine the subtle difference between a leader and a manager, we need to highlight that ‘identified goals’ are only a part of the mechanism that works towards completing the ‘bigger picture’. This ‘bigger picture’ is the business vision or long term goals that A leader ideates. A leader is the keeper of these long term goals and he/she leads the teams to meet them.
However, what is interesting is- the journey from a start up to a successful business enterprise leads to changing of the status quo. Which means- a leader must manage his/her teams (like a manager) and managers must lead the teams through solving problems and aligning team efforts towards achievement of bigger goals.
So, does it means that leaders and managers are the same? Well, Not really. To identify the difference, we need to know how managers operate or how they contribute in an organization.