How do I consider myself—a leader or a manager? I think I function well in both roles. To start off managers keep things moving, leaders are more visionary, looking at things differently” (Miller) Author Miller reinforces the first view that managers are more focused on doing things right; thereby saying that managers take care of the daily grind of the operations of the organization. Leaders, on the other hand, are far-sighted, in such that they are more of visionaries, always looking towards the far-off rainbow.
They inspire people to recognize this rainbow as a beautiful and noble vision, worth working for as a result and a process. Using this rainbow symbol, the managers do see, appreciate and recognize the rainbow as a vision worth reaching, but afterwards they get down immediately to planning, goal-setting and the whole gamut of organizing and management to start things moving. Managers prioritize on how things are done, while leaders emphasize on what should be achieved in the long run.
Meanwhile, Farr comments on how some business writers and consultants remark that “leaders as more creative and valuable to an organization than managers” (Farr, 1997). Some managers are perceived to be too inclined in focusing on managing daily organizational activities, and making sure things are being done correctly. However, some managers overlook opportunities, threats and trends, or external factors that affect the organization.
As for me, looking at all these, I can say that I have tested myself on both roles. I have the vision and foresight of a leader in initiating projects, and at the same time, I am able to look into the simplest office procedure and manage people and the daily flow of operations since I am also meticulous by nature.
In the end, it is helpful to keep in mind from moment to moment that it is not so much the stressors I face as a leader or a manager but how I see them and what I do with them that determine how much they are in my control. If people can change the way they see, they can change the way they respond. It is not only the major turning points in our lives that require us to adapt. Every day, in functioning as a manager and a leader, I face a range of moderately important to trivial obstacles and occurrences which I have to deal, and which may turn into a much larger problem than they need to be if I lose my perspective and balance of mind.
Farr, J. Leadership Vs. Management: Do You Know the Difference? Business Leader Online. 1997. Sep Retrieved Oct. 13, 2006 at
Miller, P. What's The Difference Between Leaders and Managers? High Beam Research. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2006
The Difference Between Management And Leadership. University of Edinburgh: School of Engineering and Electronics. Retrieved Oct. 13, 2006 at: ;http://www.see.ed.ac.uk/~gerard/MENG/ME96/Documents/Intro/leader.html;