English For IT
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English For IT

Manager vs. Leader. Leadership skills everyone wants to have

Are all leaders managers? Do all managers make good leaders? This article will break down the similarities and differences between the two roles and give you an overview of key leadership and managerial skills that every professional needs to develop in order to get ahead.

Similarities

It is true that there is a certain overlap(= a common area) between the two roles. Both leaders and managers need to have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, self-confidence, and the ability to withstand(=deal with) pressure.

Differences

Despite the overlap, not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are good at management.

That is because leadership has to do with (=is connected with) inspiration, while management has to do with control.

Great leaders have a clear vision of a future that they share with people and inspire them to follow that vision.

Great managers ensure that every step towards achieving the grand vision is completed in a timely, coordinated, and efficient manner.

Both leaders and managers need to be superb (=very good) communicators and keep a handle on (=have a good understanding of) the climate within the organization.

Let’s take a sports team for example. The captain of a sports team is like a manager in an organization. They are tasked with running (=managing) the dressing room, making sure players have the tools and equipment they need, and communicating with the referee.

The leader of a sports team is usually the star player with a strong personal brand. This player can lead by example and inspire the rest of the team to push the boundaries (=innovate) and achieve their best potential.

In some instances, the captain and the star player are the same person. That’s when we talk about someone who is both an excellent manager and a successful leader.

Let’s compare both roles

Leadership and managerial skills everyone needs to get ahead

You might be thinking “This is all good, but I don’t have any interest in being either a manager or a leader, so what does this have to do with me”?

The thing is that there are certain leadership and managerial skills that can fast-track (=accelerate) your career regardless of what your job is. Here are some of the most important ones.

Management skills

  1. Time management

Have you ever tried to estimate how long a task will take you only to realize that your estimates were way off (=not accurate at all)? It is very important to learn to manage your time and estimate tasks accurately and realistically.

2. Prioritization

This is a key skill for every professional. Prioritize your tasks on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis so that you know what needs to be tackled first. This way, you will achieve consistently great results.

3. Planning

This goes hand in hand with prioritizing your tasks and activities. It’s a good idea to set one big goal for the upcoming month and plan the steps it will take to achieve it.

4. Setting tasks

When you create a task for your coworker, make sure it is clear and complete with none of the key requirements missing. Too often, incomplete or redundant work happens as a result of poor task setting.

Tip: create a shared template for setting tasks to make the process of task setting easier and faster.

Leadership skills

  1. Ability to convince

Learn to communicate your messages in a logical and easy-to-follow manner. Use data and case studies where possible.

2. Public speaking

From making content for social media to speaking at conferences and events — public speaking skills can get you far! You can start small and build your confidence bit by bit.

3. Confidence

Confidence is a skill you can work on. Mastering new skills, deepening your expertise, communicating with others — all of this adds up to helping you boost your confidence.

4. Building a personal brand

Work on your social media presence, volunteer, and participate in communities — all of this will help you build a strong personal brand. With an attractive personal brand, you can easily make connections, find new opportunities, boost your income, and much more!

At English For IT, we place a lot of importance on teaching not only English but also leadership skills you will need in the workplace and in daily life. Feel free to check out our course if you’d like to improve them.

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