Choosing Someone to Manage or to Lead – How Can You Tell the Difference?

white-cake-mIf you are faced with hiring a new manager for your organisation, I would like you to think about the weight of the decision you are making.

Wait a minute, what does that have to do with baking a cake?

My friend Leslee Lucy, the Financial Centre Manager for Sun Life, nailed it beautifully over lunch yesterday when she said “I think of leadership as I do making a white cake. You have to have the basic ingredients to make it work – compliance, customer service, reliability, work ethic etc – but after that I let my team add their different flavors to the recipe. That way nobody feels micro-managed and when I check in with them we’re both looking forward to learning something new from one another.”

According toElizabeth Kampf, a consultant at Gallup the top engagement drivers for employees are driven by the actions of managers who are good leaders. These actions are:

  • setting clear expectations
  • positioning employees to use their strengths, and
  • providing employees with regular recognition and praise.

Growing a business or leading a team inside any business takes more than the skills of the manager.

Someone might have the title of ‘Team Leader’ and can still be operating with the limitations of a manager. There is something very different between someone who manages and someone who leads. A good manager administers and tracks activities and processes to achieve desired results. A good leader inspires others so that there is very little tracking and monitoring of processes to be done.

Let’s take a look at some of the common assets of a good manager:

  • Know their job and the goals of the team
  • Know what they need from the people working with them
  • Actively pursue the objectives they have been assigned through communication with their team
  • Know how to assign responsibility to those who are best capable of successfully completing a particular task
  • So what is the integral difference between a manager and a leader?

A leader is someone who has personal abilities above and beyond the simple management of people and tasks. This attribute is a personal one. It is a part of their personality.

It makes sense. For one to be a leader, then they must have those who follow. This is what you are looking for. This is the kind of person, with additional skills and mindset, to bring about results and growth.

A leader is more than a manager because of who they are.

A leader must have personal values they maintain during the most difficult times. A leader knows how to inspire people when they are feeling down. A leader knows how to keep others calm in the most stressful situations.

A leader is someone who is authentic in who they are. They are believable. They are someone that others to look up to. They have integrity. These values are not always acquired. Some people are born with them, others learn them over time, and others seek professional courses.

Do you have the skills and necessary experience to see through a potential candidate’s self-presentation during the limited time available during an interview? When a manager does not meet job requirements, you can be faced with a costly wrong hire.

Get help from a professional. Ashton & Associates has proven ACE Candidate screening methodologies for candidates at all occupational levels. The team is experienced at making sound judgements during the hiring process. This is what we have been doing for more than 30 years.

Barbara Ashton is the President and Founder of Ashton & Associates Recruiting.

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This post has been approved for public release by Barbara Ashton. All certified posts carry this Google Authorship link to Google.