It may be a very simple equation to find out if you are more naturally a leader or a manager.
Rather than considering the typical text book definition and those little cartoons you enjoy on social networking pages, it could simply be a matter of time.
When you stop to think about it, a manager manages and a leader leads. It’s not rocket science because the clue is in the name! The manager thinks in present time about tasks and people and focuses on outputs and things to be done, right here, right now. They put together resources and people to meet deadlines and achieve objectives and goals. There is nothing wrong with being a manager; a good one is present, in terms of time and focus. Most businesses need their immediate, delivery-driven, tactical focus.
The leader however has a very different mindset. They understand that things we do affect the future and they would rather live, breathe and think in that future, providing a strategic, forward thinking momentum and drawing people along with them. The leader sits ahead of others. Not necessarily above them, just in front or ahead of them, and entices others to join them on the journey in a forward direction. Less concerned about the detail of now, they understand it’s likely that future intention will create the environment for how and when things simply, just get done.
There’s nothing wrong with being a leader and not a manager; Most businesses need their directional, strategic focus.
In a perfect company or team, a balance of leader, manager and deliverer will ensure more tasks are completed, more resources are efficiently and effectively used and the strategic direction of the business and long term goals are achieved.
So are you a manager or a leader? And do you balance whatever you are not, across your team…?