There are differences when you say leaders and managers. They differ in their styles, focus, the people they are in charge of, and what they seek to achieve in what they do. Leaders understand that they are dealing with people who are complex beings in themselves and they understand this complexity. They learn to appreciate and adapt to changes happening in these people and the environment around them. Managers tend to overlook this reality. They rely and thrive on rationality, simplicity and on getting the job done within the organization. Leaders are willing to take risks unlike managers who have grown accustomed to the comfort and predictability of their jobs. It is important to note however that without taking risks, there would be no opportunities and changes for the people and the organization.
However, leadership and management do not have to be separate concepts as leaders can be managers and managers can also be leaders. By saying this, we stress the importance of having an adaptive and strategic management approach. As a good project manager, you do not want to be identified within the traditional and dominant management style. Although understandably, there are instances when it would be helpful to borrow some concepts and ideas from this approach during certain periods. But it would be best to take the best practices between the two approaches and merge them into your own leadership and management style. This is how you learn to adapt and strategize. In any business or organization, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. It is more than the project manager and team members. There are dynamic relationships. The important thing is to rise to the challenge as we encourage the people to own up to their responsibility and participate in the whole process of organizational development. Effective and efficient leaders are able to steer their followers towards a participative endeavor, not just completion of the company’s goals and objectives but ultimately, the completion of its vision and mission. So, do you want to be a leader or a manager?