I recently read What is Authentic Leadership? and started thinking about the difference between a Leader and a Manager. The article seems to assume that a Leader = Manager and uses a Leader’s followers interchangeably with employees.
In my view, they do not always mean the same things. A good Leader is not always a manager but a good Manager is almost always a good Leader. The same qualities that the article talks about – being genuine, self aware, and results-oriented while thinking long-term – are the same qualities I have found in my favorite managers and mentors. What I thought the article missed though was a Leader must *care* about his employees to be an effective Manager.
If my Manager does not care about my well being, my professional development and my career advancement, what chance do I as an employee have of achieving my goals? If my Manager won’t help me progress, who else at the company will? Who becomes my champion for success? I think good Managers is something a lot of companies, particularly young companies, lack. I’ve been fortunate these last few companies or so in that my managers have connected with me and understood what makes me tick. And they’ve fostered that while helping me get to where I want to be. All the while, they continued to lead by example and show me, and the company, what needs to get done to get the company to where it needs to be.