Are Managersí Leaders?
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The role of a ‘business leader” and a “business manager” are used interchangeably in the companies. Though there is an abundant supply of managers, good leaders are few in number. The words manager and leader are different; but a manager can be good leader if he has the drive for it.

Manager is one who ensures that the processes in the entity are directed towards the organisational goals. A leader, on the other hand, comes up with ideas or ‘directions’ which could be a newly designed one or modifications to an existing one. Managers utilise the existing resources of the company in the expected manner and through proper check and control, ensure that the activities are performed according to the plan. A leader on the other hand, challenges the existing system and come up with new innovative ways of doing the processes to attain the goals.

A manager can be a good leader if he moves with a long term vision and directs and inspires the team members to move in the new path to success. If he is to be a good leader, the team members must believe in his capabilities and convictions which can make a long term impact on the organisation. While a manager thinks of achieving the short term goals, a leader envisages things on a long term basis. A leader should have the courage and determination to move forward in spite of resistance from others and initial setbacks. He must have the charisma to propel his team forward. To be a good leader, a manger should have the capability of influencing others, consciously or unconsciously. He must recognise the individual capabilities and utilise them diligently towards innovation.

Team members entrust great confidence on a good leader. Ross Perot of EDS and Perot Systems is a great example of a leader who displayed great courage in getting out the two of his employees who were kidnapped by the revolutionists in Iran without the aid of the Government of US of A. Such an incident has only added to the trust the employees of EDS have on him. Ross Perot’s act involved a great many risks which would have been unthinkable in the minds of an ordinary manager.

Managers’ duty as a leader also involves in keeping a close watch over the general trends and he identifies the potential of his employees and utilises them to satisfy the long term goals besides ensuring that the performance conforms to the current plans. To be a leader the manager has to meet the future and its challenges headlong unlike a manager who moves around the predetermined plans.

Leaders have the drive to propel his team mates to innovate and initiate newer routes to reach the destiny. As a manager one induces others to improve their performance while as a leader he has to motivate to take up new directions.

For a manager to be a leader, he has to have the drive and an analytical mind to visualise the future and people capabilities that can motivate the people to follow towards the vision.

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