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Managers and leaders – two very different beasts!

Reading an article in the Harvard business review recently I have been thinking about the differences between good managers and good leaders.

At FreshMinds Talent, we work with the top 5% of the Graduate population and the first question these super smart high achievers ask us is ‘what are my progression opportunities with this role?’. I would urge candidates to think carefully about the various routes they would like to follow and whether they possess more of a managerial or leadership skillset as often these skillsets don’t exist in the same person.

So, what’s the difference?

I like the way the Harvard Business Review put it…

‘Managers’ goals arise out of necessities rather than desires; they excel at diffusing conflicts between individuals or departments, placating all sides while ensuring that an organisation's day-to-day business gets done.

'Leaders', on the other hand, adopt personal, active attitudes toward goals. They look for the opportunities and rewards that lie around the corner, inspiring subordinates and firing up the creative process with their own energy. Their relationships with employees and coworkers are intense, and their working environment is often chaotic.’

Obviously, the definition of ‘leader’ and ‘manager’ can vary greatly on the size, sector or type of organisation but I hope this provides some food for thought when thinking about where your career can take you. Do get in touch with FreshMinds if you are a high achiever looking for your next exciting opportunity!

Soraya Pugh is the Head of the FreshMinds Talent Graduate team.

Image courtesy of shutterstock