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Leadership vs Management Part 2: What Is a Manager?

In our previous chapter in this series, taken from our leadership training courses, we looked at common myths people hold about leaders and managers. Today, we're going to dig deeper into the basic question of what is a manager?

Understanding the Qualities of Managers

Good managers are critical pieces of an organizational team, and necessary for a leader's vision to be properly implemented. There are many types of managers, requiring different skills and competencies, yet there are still several traits all great managers have in common.

As we discussed in Part 1, a leader is primarily focused on the future, while a manager lives in the now. A great manager should have the ability to hold a "big picture" overview of their organization as it currently exists, including both its capabilities and its weak points. From that, they can understand the steps that need to be taken to achieve short-term future goals.

Likewise, while they may not be concerned with long-term plans, they can predict the short-term outcomes of their interactions within the organization. Whether it's implementing new policies, or coaching specific individuals, a key question for managers to ask is "What can I do today to make tomorrow even better?"

Great managers don't necessarily think strategically, but they do think tactically. They are extremely concerned with the results of their actions, and never "just do things" without a clear idea of how they will turn out. This clear idea is not based in wishful thinking but, again, in a clear and level-headed understanding of the pragmatic reality of their current organizational situation.

However, nothing stops a manager from learning more strategic thinking. They could work more closely with a leader, take a more future-focused approach to their job, or enroll in leadership training courses. If successful, this approach can be exactly what allows a superior manager to transition into being a superior leader within their organization.

X-Stream Leadership Group Can Take You to The Next Level

Coming up, in our third and last blog in the series, we'll be looking at the flip side of this coin: "What is a leader?" Until then, to discover how to unlock your own leadership potential, contact the X-Stream Leadership Group for more information on our leadership training courses!

X-Stream Leadership Group, LLC   |   1248 Queen Street, Pottstown, PA 19464   |   PH (610) 908-2223   |   FX (610) 705-1892
Regional offices in Longmont, CO – Dallas, TX – Laurel Hill, FL serving clients in the larger Philadelphia, Denver and Dallas areas and World-Wide.