HBR recently conducted a study to understand what differentiates a manager from a leader?
- Attitude towards goals – Managers tend to adopt a passive attitude towards goals. Managerial goals arise out of necessities rather than desires. Leaders, on the other hand, take a more active role in goal setting. The net result of this is a change in people’s perception about what is desirable, possible and necessary.
- Conception of work – Managers tend to view work as an enabling process involving some combination of people and ideas. Leaders work in the opposite direction. Leaders take fresh approaches to problems and explore new options.
- Relations with others – Managers prefer to work with people and avoid solitary activity. The main difference is between attention to how to get things done and a leader’s to what the events and decisions mean.
To determine whether leaders shape company cultures or vice- versa, the role that leaders play in shaping the culture of an organisation is as below:
- What leaders pay attention to – measure, control?
- Leaders reaction to critical events
- Criteria for resource allocation
- Role modelling, coaching and teaching
- Observed way of allocating rewards and status
- Criteria for recruitment, selection, promotion, retirement and ex-communication
If organisational culture is a major determinant of organisational effectiveness, then the influence of leadership is seen in the symbols, beliefs, rituals, language and ideology that one sees in the organisation.