‘Leaders’ are the ones who make people believe in their views and perceptions. ‘Managers’ are the ones who guide people to achieve a goal. ‘Achievers’ are the ones who have succeeded in their motives.
Leaders have followers and managers have subordinates. Followers voluntarily follow a leader, while subordinates work under a framework and process.
I understand and endorse the fact that there are Political Leaders, Religious Leaders, Spiritual Leaders, Thought Leaders, and the leaders on networking websites like LinkedIn and Twitter.
The essence of this article is to understand if being a leader or being effective manager ensures better chances of success.
Let’s look how the management books define a manager: Manager is someone who is responsible for planning, organizing, leading and controlling. This definition includes leading as one of the key responsibilities. All the four factors need to work in tandem for a manager to be successful.
What that means, that only leadership quality will not ensure success. Unless you have other qualities in you, success may elude you.
Successful managers are achievers, who are wrongly interpreted, by the society at large, as leaders (at least in the contemporary world). While they are more than leaders, they are achievers.
So, what is the difference between a good manager and an achiever? Achiever is someone with great management skills and is a visionary.
We need to aim for the Achiever’s status. Here are some of the qualities that are inherent to an Achiever:
- Visionary– Achiever clearly knows what they wish to achieve and how they will achieve it. This is more to do with the clarity of thoughts, belief in vision and belief in oneself.
- Planning, Execution, and Monitoring– Achiever defines pragmatic plans with well-defined, tangible and visible sub-goals. They have an eye for execution with details.
- Leading– Achiever ensures that the people, who are a part of the execution, have a buy-in for the vision.
- Control– Achiever has a control over the plans and teams. They are capable of steering the plan as well as a course correction if required.
- Organization– This is the most significant skill of an achiever. Achiever should be able to build an organization with apt resources including right skills, mindset, and motivation.
‘Leadership’ is just one of the attributes of a good manager. It’s an over-hyped term, which has its share in making someone an achiever. There are multiple attributes (listed above) that need to work in sync, in order to achieve the unachievable or difficult goals.
Stick to basic management principles and have a strong vision, that’s the key to success and being an achiever.