Many professionals mistakenly think that leaders and managers are one in the same. This could not be farther from the truth. Understanding the distinction is incredibly valuable, both for those in higher positions and for the staff they are responsible for leading.
A true leader is someone others look up to: an exceptional superior who creates a unique vision for their team. Employees follow the examples set by leaders and are inspired by them and their work ethic, dedication, and confidence. Leaders persistently take risks and focus on the larger goal for the organization. They create a following of employees by demonstrating a constant desire to connect personally. A real leader has no difficulty building trust and loyalty as they are always held with the highest esteem.
Unlike leaders who focus more on the bigger picture, managers are concerned with the company’s day-to-day operations. Leaders think of the bigger picture while managers focus on maintaining and refining daily company structures and processes. Leaders have followers, while managers have staff members that work under them, and there is a notable difference between the two. Managers guide employees and help them reach individual and team short-term goals, unlike leaders who coach and provide encouragement on an employee’s real potential.