We’re often asked if being a Manager is the same thing as being a Leader. It’s an interesting question, so let’s explore the key differences in leader vs manager roles.

Picture the scene. Jane has been with her company for two years. She’s great at what she does, her customers love her and her colleagues have huge respect for her.
When an opening becomes available, Jane is the obvious choice for the promotion. She’s the perfect candidate for the job and easily slips in to her new role, fully embracing her next challenge.

Sound a little too straightforward? That’s because it usually is.

Great at the job – or great at managing people?
Often, when people are promoted to a managerial position, it’s because they’re great at their existing job. Of course, this is pretty crucial when it comes to climbing the career ladder. Many internal promotions fail because individuals are suddenly given a new role. In this role, they’re managing people for the first time. There’s an expectation that they also know how to lead a team.
More often than not, the newly promoted employees don’t have the leadership skills required for a management role. Therefore, what they actually do is continue with the day-to-day elements of their job that they are familiar and confident with. They simply treat the new, crucial elements of their role as an “add on”, resulting in them being completely overlooked. Employers may quickly feel disappointed, perceiving underperformance, while employees experience stress, feeling thrown in at the deep end. In short, they have been left to rely on their existing skills with no real career development.

So how does management and leadership differ?
Management is, in essence, the use of resources to achieve results through the efforts of another person. It’s delegation at it’s finest, and is a means to get the job done. If a Manager is simply managing a process, it’s an effective way of working. However, if they’re managing people, they also need to demonstrate the traits of a leader. Understanding the dynamics of leader vs manager is crucial in creating a balanced and effective team.

So, how that might look?
Organising a team or department, a manager focuses on structure, while a leader aims to motivate and enhance performance.
Adapting to change, a manager adjusts, whereas a leader takes proactive steps to make change happen, setting an example and guiding their team.
Following procedure is a manager’s role, yet a leader goes beyond by setting the pace and casting a vision for the team to follow.

These are just a few examples from a long list to demonstrated that management is functional – whereas leadership required far more.

How can a business help a great manager become a great leader
In addition to great management skills, a fantastic leader has many qualities, including charisma, great communications, consistency and fairness. Some of these characteristics are innate – but others need to be taught. Businesses need to support their management team with regular training and coaching, to enable them to reach their full potential. Ultimately, this will improve the capability and behaviours of leaders to get the most out of their team. It’s really very simple – but it’s an area that many businesses overlook.

In conclusion
Every business needs leaders to inspire the team and drive the organisation to not only succeed, but to thrive. Continually develop and nurture middle managers through regular, quality training and coaching. This enables them to reach their full potential. Ultimately, this will improve the capability and behaviours of leaders to get the most out of their team. Recognising the distinctions in leader vs manager roles is fundamental for organisational success. People Matters HR have a proven track record of helping leaders understand their role so they can carry it out more effectively. Learning from us gives the individuals you employ in a management role the tools they need to help the business grow. If you want to help develop your managers in to leaders, we can help. Call PMHR on 0161 738 1808 for more information.

People Matters HR CEO Niel Cope is delivering an intensive leadership program consisting of 6, half-day workshops, each of which focusses on specific areas of leadership and has been specifically written to address the challenges faced by businesses today.

The course will be delivered over six weeks, commencing on 28th April 2022 and accessible to all via Zoom or a combination of zoom and classroom. Each workshop lasts three hours, timed to give maximum impact with minimum interruption to operational work.

The cost is £600 per delegate for the whole program and booking is now open. Please contact us on enquiries@PeopleMattersHR.co.uk or 0161 738 1808.