What's the difference between a leader and a manager?

what's the difference between a leader and a manager
Photo by Darren Coleshill

Well-worn as that question may be, it remains worth asking because times change, and leaders succeed when their words, decisions, and actions address prevailing conditions. We all suspect, for example, that solving today's extraordinary problems will take someone other than the all-business manager who kept us on tracks - and then ran us off the tracks - over the past few years.

According to some recent research, the following are seen as some of the more common behaviours for managers and leaders:

  • Cost pressures

  • Competitors

  • Improving customer satisfaction

  • Technology changes

  • Driving sales growth

  • Employee productivity

  • Product/service innovation

However, to become a leader of today, there's one major game changer you need to master to be truly outstanding and that is coaching. We work with many managers and senior people within organisations to make them aware that real transformation comes via coaching and empowerment. Here's 5 reasons why you need to develop your leaders:

  • They generally have little or no support when operating at the very top of a business

  • Their needs are very specific and have to be understood in-depth

  • Their responsibilities regarding business delivery are wide and varied

  • They need to be continually aware of the people aspects of their business and more importantly, the culture they are creating.

  • Leaders of excellence need to be trained in the art of coaching

We have worked with many senior people in business over the years, and helped turn them from mediocre managers, to outstanding and influential leaders - simply because they understand how to coach and empower their people to take responsibility. But what about notching it up a gear - how do you become a SUPER leader of both yourself and your business? Super-leadership is leadership that inspires others by showing team members how to lead themselves. To be effective, a leader must successfully influence the way people influence themselves. Super-leadership is a new form of leadership for the era of knowledge-based organisations distinguished by flat structures and employee empowerment.

A super-leader is one who leads others to lead themselves through designing and implementing the system that allows and teaches employees to be self-leaders. It all starts with the leader first and foremost understanding themselves.

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