This topic always fires a "never ending" debate. But I like it. It shows how we perceive our surroundings, leaders, managers and our life in whole. It implies that having different opinions is better than having none.
- A manager is a person who do things right; A leader is the person who do the right things.
- A manager puts on the first place the results and indicators – numbers. A leader puts on the first place the people to achieve those results.
- A manager imitates others. A leader originates.
- A manager has a short-range perspective (Present = Manager). A leader has a long-range perspective (Future = Leader).
- A manager manages the things so that dreams/visions of a leader come true.
- A manager plans tactics. A leader plans strategy.
- A manager is risk cautious. A leader takes the necessary risks.
Others explain it as the same coin with two faces or just two names for the same subject – like:
- Leadership and management are activities performed by people. These activities are two sides of the same coin; you can't get an organization to perform by using one side.
- Asking such a question presupposes that manager is not, or cannot be effective leaders.
- A leader without management skills is a dreamer. A manager without leadership skills is a puppet.
- The job of management is not supervision, but leadership.
- Being a leader and being a manager are not mutually exclusive.
- A manager is part of a leader role.
- A management is a composite of both traditional management and leadership skills.
If I would be asked the question, I would tell a story that I like to recount to my students and fits me great:
There is a group of people lost in a rain forest. They are cutting the path through brushwood. There is a man shouting: "cut faster, cut wider, cut ...". Obvious a manager.
But where is a leader?
On top of a high tree shouting down: "we are heading the wrong direction!"
Not a 100% real life example but for me it express the difference between those two positions.