We often hear about the differences between a Manager and a Leader. Usually with the leader highlighted as more positive than a manager. The truth of the matter is that we need both skill sets, especially when we are running a small business. We need to be both a leader and a manager. So what exactly is the difference between the two? In a nutshell, a leader takes care of people, a manager takes care of things. If you are leading, you are engaging, inspiring and motivating people. You are aware of the strategic vision of your business and you inspire your team to invest in the vision so that together you can get there.
Small businesses need a leader. A leader sets the purpose of a business, the Why. They know why we do what we do, they are clear on the purpose. The entrepreneurial mindset of vision is a strong leadership trait. That vision and purpose needs to be communicated to the stakeholders; from staff to investors.
Employees will choose to follow a leader who instils trust, respect and integrity, traits that are often mirrored within the corporate culture. They become invested, they are developing their own skills and the leader makes them feel valued for the contribution they are making towards the realisation of the vision. Small businesses also need a manager.
While the leader sets the vision, the manager makes sure that it’s implemented well. The manager is in charge of things; systems, processes, procedures, etc. The manager makes sure things get done, they monitor the checks and balances and ensure that each step is being taken, and taken the right way.
The leader shares the vision while the manager shares the mission. The leader lets us know why we are doing what we are doing. The manager lets us know how we are going to do it. A small business owner wears both hats, and they know how to change hats to suit the situation at hand.
We must use our leadership skills to grow and develop our business. Our business should always be in growth and development mode. If you’re not growing you’re decaying. A successful entrepreneur has leadership, vision and adaptability as well as strong managerial competencies to take the business to success.