Leaders lead and Managers Manage

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By JoshOkello

Plato believed that kings are the only people who understand justice because they are the only people who grasp the philosophical concepts of leadership. In the world today, division and specialization of labour has made it easy for people to only focus on one area and see success. We therefore ask ourselves, what is the difference between managers and leaders?

Leaders are those who inspire others to achieve the visions that impact and change lives for the better through a way of projecting expertise that assures confidence in the hearts and minds of those who follow them. Managers are those who coordinate, organize, command, plan and support the executions that turn visions into reality.

It is possible for a leader to be a manager but often time, managers do not make good leaders and good leaders do not make good managers. When a business or any organization is starting, a vision, mission, value statements are written. This part is always played by the leaders. They are the ones who ask; “what is it that we can do to improve the life standards of people either through daily experience or totally eradicating a problem?” After answering this question, the matter is then transferred to the managers.

The key role of managers is to concentrate on the mission statement. A mission statement is a formal summery of the aims and guidelines of an organization. It highlights in brief, what must be done to make the vision become true. It is the manager’s task to implement using these guidelines within the organization’s peripheries to ensure satisfying results to leaders and people being served by the organization.

To make it more understandable, this is the simplified version of the subject and who it affects/responsible.

  1. Vision of the organization —– Implemented by a leader
  2. Mission of the organization—- Implemented by a manager
  3. Value of the organization——- Affects people served by the organization.

Leaders are the overseers of the entire organization while managers are the implementers of the dreams. It takes a lot of work for both managers and leaders to build a team synergy. One of the traits that is highly required to make this goal a possibility is patience. Even though you want to be patient, a successful leader understands the urgency of implementation. Once a decision is made or a great idea clicks in their mind, it must be implemented immediately.

An organization with a great chemistry between the manager and the leader is destined to succeed. Wisdom plays a pivotal role in such a scenario and it needs in-depth understanding of the leadership philosophy. Leadership and management shares one thing in common though, they both need good decision makers. People who understand the risks involved in every step of their action and must be willing to move on in case of any failure. Great leaders inspire ordinary people to do extra ordinary things.

© Joshua Okello 2014.

Joshua Okello is a B.A graduate in Business Administration, International Development and Philosophy. He is also the author of the book Strategies of Entrepreneurial Leadership He has exceptional skills in organizing, coordinating projects and capacity building initiatives with key emphasis on livelihood programs; microfinance through savings and credit led models; business development services and entrepreneurial leadership. He is also the founder and Executive Director of Succeed Africa Relief Organization, a Canadian Christian Organization geared towards giving hope and transformation in lives of the chronically poor in Africa.

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