Manager to Leader – Your call

This is an extension of my previous post on Manager vs programmer. Leaving programming was a little difficult for me but then with time I am able to survive weeks without it. I haven’t left it altogether as I keep trying the new technologies with a bit of programming. Also I keep transferring my experiences with code management and optimization to upcoming programmers and leaders.

Leader Vs Manager

This post is an attempt to define the thin line between leadership and management. Is there some difference? Yes there is but not visible to all. In many companies they call top-level executives as managers but in our company we address them
as leaders, "Grmtech Leaders". Let me share my opinion and experience about these look alike but still dissimilar words.

  • Things Vs People: As many say the basic difference is that we manage things and we lead people. Managers are skilled, structured, controlled, and systematic. Leaders have an urge to create; hence they are visionaries, flexible
    and creative.
  • Job Vs Call: Management is more about reputed companies, designation while leadership is a Call. Our CEO Vikas Kedia rejected a reputed company, a designation and a $1,00,000 job-offer to pursue his dreams. Leadership is
    all about believing in yourself and a gut feeling about your intuitions.
  • Management is more refinement but leadership is about revolution: Managers follow the success successfully and help you sail smooth. Leaders can revolutionize the whole concept to create the tipping point. Leaders are
    more risk taking. I knew managers who kept complaining about various company policies but never taken a step to correct it as it was not under their periphery. In other words leaders can bring changes.
  • Inspire vs Instruct: Managers get things done through control but leaders believe in empowering. Leaders believe in stroking the fire within people while managers light the fire under people. Managers seek authority but leaders influence.
  • Leadership goes beyond rulebooks: Most of the companies are over-managed but under-led. Managers often work within the rulebooks and hierarchies, often considering co-workers as just another resource. Leaders often listen to their heart allowing them to take steps to offer extra. Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambai ( ‘Dhirubhai’ is a nickname ), who was enormously large-hearted with those he considers his benefactors during his days of struggle, he has been known to dole out massive sums of money across the table without expectation of its being returned. He cared about his people beyond the rulebooks and 1989 Patalganga flood shows it all. "Apart from began a financial wizard, Dhirubhai is a truly magnificent organizer, and has been able to give his employees the impression that they can unequivocally count on him in times of distress. For example, when an unexpected flood hit the industrial township of Patalganga, and washed out three entire villages on ‘Black Monday’, 24th July 1989, the human factor in the Reliance complex there was the least badly affected, through the factory itself was totally submerged. More than twenty inches of rain fell in just eight hours in an area that had no flood history in the previous 80 years. The downpour was accompanied by winds rising to more than 80 kilometers per hour. Out of 384 people dead and 264 missing, not a single person was a Reliance employee. As many as 1,500 families were rendered homeless, and 1,15,000 people rendered destitute, but none of these were Reliance personnel." read more about Dhirubhai…
  • Leaders Vs Managers == Visionary Vs Missionary: Leaders are visionaries who can see the future and do the needed changes keeping future in mind. They allow present pain for future gain. Managers are there to manage the current functioning and follow the smaller missions.
  • Time based managers to all time leaders: Leaders needs to be ethical, as people not only obey their command but follow them in all aspects. Managers are observed while at work but leaders are followed all time. People try to own their leaders and every unethical work done by a leader leave a visible or invisible scar on people. In today’s era political personalities are more managers than leaders. Mahatma Gandhi was followed even beyond what he asked for. Leader tries to develop character than personality. In order to lead you need to be right there as an example. To manage you can still survive with any example but to lead you need to be one.
  • Transfer of Vision, Excitement, Passion and Knowledge: The post can go on and on with various other differences but I will like to conclude it with one of the most significant difference. The transfer of vision, excitement,
    passion and knowledge. A leader wants to move ahead by transferring knowledge and is not scared of losing his importance with knowledge transfer. Leader is excited and is able to transfer the excitement by showing them the same vision. By making them understand the vision, a leader is able to develop the same passion and commitment among people.

Is this post against Managers?
No, not at all. It is a call for all including the managers. I have tried to explain the thin line separating the men from boys. Managers (rather managerial behaviors) are also required in any company but leaders often are proven as better managers. Developing yourself as a leader doesn’t mean leaving the managerial responsibility; it is about looking beyond the existing territories.

It’s your call