What James Paterek has to say about the difference between a manager and a leader?
“Often,” James Paterek says, “people associate leadership with one’s position in a company. But that’s a misconception. Leadership has nothing to do with titles, hierarchies or personal ambitions. Leadership has to do with the creation of an environment where positive change is a possibility; an environment where everyone has an opportunity to put forth their best.”
Leadership also includes having the vision to direct those positive forces and positive energies toward a goal that has been made common. Under leadership, everyone is working together toward something that everyone wants; something that everyone will benefit from. “Those goals are not automatic,” James Paterek says. “A good leader creates goals that are good for the organization as a whole, but that are also meaningful for the individuals and stakeholders who are responsible for attaining those goals.”
“Leaders are more often lauded,” says Paterek, “but in truth, solid leaders and solid managers are both needed to work in tandem in order to create success. This unity is key.”
“Managers play an integral role in attaining goals, too,” says Paterek. “Managers are in the trenches, so to speak. While leaders create meaningful goals and environments where it’s possible to reach those goals, managers guide their employees as they take action toward the goals.”
A good manager isn’t just “me” oriented. A good manager will recognize individual strengths and weaknesses in their employees. They will understand what motivates individuals, be it money, autonomy, time, space or what have you. The best kind of manager will then play to those motivators to ensure that everyone is working at a level where they are the most highly motivated to succeed.
“Another key role of a manager,” says James Paterek, “is to correct as progress is made.” It’s surprisingly common for even the best teams to go off-course every now and then on the way toward a goal. They may get side-tracked by personal emotions, workplace drama, petty problems or even larger things such as misunderstandings about the objectives. It’s the manager’s job to make corrections along the way so that the team stays on course, is clear about the objectives and does not get side-tracked in a way that puts the goal out of reach.