Leader VS Manager, part 2

“The manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon.” – Warren Bennis, Author

Most people leave a position because of a bad “boss”. In the new economy, a knowledge worker expects something different from a manager. They expect not to be “bossed” but to be “led”, to be respected, inspired and motivated.

In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences between managers and leaders:

  • The manager administers; the leader innovates.
  • The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
  • The manager maintains; the leader develops.
  • The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.
  • The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.
  • The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.
  • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
  • The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.
  • The manager imitates; the leader originates.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
  • The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

Perhaps there was a time when the calling of the manager and that of the leader could be separated. Today’s new economy requires a new set of behaviors. A balance between being a leader and a manager. I call that “Balanced Leadership.”

As a leader, which behaviors do you really use the most?

Which behaviors do you need to change or use more to be a better leader for your knowledge workers?


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