The words manager and leader are often used interchangeably, but have very different meanings. Webster's dictionary describes a manager as a person controlling the movement or behavior of others, or one who has charge of others, and directs their affairs. In contrast, Webster's definition of a leader is a person that directs through influence by going along with or before, others that would follow (Guralnik, 1984). In fact, the wording in the assignment of this paper has connotations towards the differences between a manager and a leader. The assignment asks us to address the "role of a manager", as opposed to the "characteristics of a leader." The phrase "role of a manager" connotes a task-oriented, strictly defined, robotic functioning by a mindless drone that plays his part as outlined in a script. Whereas the phrase "characteristics of a leader", evokes thoughts of abstract personal qualities to be employed by an empowered individual towards a common goal. This paper will compare and contrast the distinct differences between managing and leading. Additionally, it will focus on the concept of emotionally intelligent leadership. Finally, it will address the question of whether a manager must always be a leader. .
Warren Bennis in his book "On Becoming a Leader" (1994) lists interesting differences between a manager and a leader as reproduced below. Table 1.
A Manager A leader.
Is a copy Is an original.
Focuses on systems and structure Focuses on people.
Relies on control Inspires trust.
Has a short-range view Has a long-range perspective.
Asks how and when Asks what and why.
Has his eye on the bottom line Has his eye on the horizon.
Accepts the status quo Challenges it.
Is the classic good soldier Is his own person.
Does things right Does the right thing.
As referenced in Table 1 above, managers and leaders each have marked differences in their attitudes toward goals, their basic conceptions of the nature of work, their relationships with others, and their sense of self (or self-identity) and how it develops.