Can you be a good manager, but not be a particularly good leader?

No Shame In Being One Without The Other

The answer is a resounding YES. You can be a good manager, but not be a particularly good leader because while the two roles overlap and are often intertwined, they don’t have to be intertwined in specific situations. The skills also overlap but can be separated.

An individual may have excellent organizational, planning and analytic skills but lack communication and influence skills, that may be needed to be a top notch leader in the organization.

It can also be the case that the desire to lead is not present. There are excellent managers and employees who really are not comfortable playing the “role” of leader. They want to do the managing job, and they are good at it, but don’t want the obligations attached to being a leader, and would like to remain anonymous or in the background.

This can be a problem if the organization requires both leadership and management skills from the same person, or there is a leadership vacuum. However, we should congratulate managers who recognize their own limitations, and choose a role that fits their strengths and weaknesses, and congratulate organizations for not forcing or expecting a person to take on an unwanted leadership mantle.

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