A leader in a business setting is almost always a manager of some sort, but a manager is not necessarily a leader. How does this happen? This is because there are some very key differences between managers and leaders, and these key differences can dramatically impact the output of a business.
So what are these differences and what does it take to be a truly effective leader? Here are just of the few things that separate the leaders from the rest of the pack:
- Looking at the Bigger Picture
- Helping Others Grow
- Thinking Out of the Box
Looking at the Bigger Picture
In general, managers are largely focused only on the task at hand. They see an obstacle in front of them and find a way to overcome it. Regardless of how quickly or effectively managers overcome this obstacle, they are still never able to look further down the road than the next obstacle. True leaders tend to look at the bigger picture and begin to see how all of these much smaller singular tasks can combine to reach one more overarching goal.
Helping Others Grow
Someone who is described as a leader by others likely got this title because they’ve helped both individuals and businesses grow. A business is as good as the sum of its parts and if only a single manager performs well while not developing their workforce, the business will undoubtedly suffer. True leaders take time out of their already busy day to go the extra mile and ensure that employees are building their skill set and growing as an individual.
Thinking Out of the Box
Those who simply do what has always been done are typically viewed as managers. People who think outside of the box can be viewed as a business leader. By branching out and developing a new process or way of doing things, leaders show they have the ability to both take risks and go against the status quo. All of the greatest companies in the world were started by visionary leaders who weren’t afraid of doing something that no one had done before. And that’s why we know their names, as opposed to their colleagues who maybe just “followed the rules.”