I'm sure the HR experts would have their own memes or infographics about the detailed differences of a leader and a manager. But here is my take.
- good communicator
- team player
- trains the team and helps each member understand the guidelines, the rules, the tasks
- prepares the tasks to be done
- prepares the schedules and deadlines
- great presentation
- liaises with the entire supply chain to ensure delivery of the product/service
- has empathy
- smart, can recognise patterns, can read data
- has experience - breadth of knowledge, versatile
- good memory, if not outstanding
- works hard
- can negotiate
- promotes well-being of the team
- promotes sustainability and constant improvement
This is a great person and an ideal member of a company, business or any organisation.
But this person may or may not be a leader.
I observe the MOST successful leaders worldwide -- famous names in the IT industry, in politics, non-profits, arts, in business and in history. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Welch, Mother Theresa, Alexander the Great, Voltaire, Aristotle, Narayana Murthy, and my recent favourite Elon Musk
Let me enumerate how I see these LEADERs:
- they have VISION
- they are headstrong
- they have very dominating personalities
- they can be erratic
- they are not afraid to ruffle feathers
- most of them are rather *my way or the highway*
- they fail over and over again and they still push for their dreams
- they are relentless
- they are DISRUPTORS
- they challenge the status quo
- they break the systems
- they build new markets
- they go where nobody has been before
- they THINK DIFFERENTLY
- their passion for their work is relentless and unending. There is no breakfast, lunch or sleep time. They can be consumed with what they are doing for hours.
- They are mostly NOT *people* persons
- They are NOT afraid to be wrong
- they inspire generations
- they have an unsatiable thirst for new knowledge
So while a manager is smart, a leader is brilliant.
While a manager's actions and projects can be sustainable, these projects have way less impact. And most likely, not very revolutionary. However a leader's potentially high impact solution may lose fire if its market is not ready.
So what is the missing link? I suggest it is deep understanding of philosophy, critical thinking and self-awareness. A leader needs these elements to sustain himself or herself in challenging situations. Self-awareness brings consistency in actions and integrity. Deep understanding of philosophy and critical thinking would enable a leader to do what is objectively right.
Will Wanganui elect leaders or managers? It would be great to see both types be represented.