We work with organisations to recruit high potential talent, and more often than not these positions are either managerial or leadership vacancies. The difference between a manager and leader in my experience, aligns with the difference between execution and strategy - with a good manager often displaying the ability to execute and deliver, whereas a leader demonstrates the ability to set/communicate strategy and inspire.
However, when searching for talent our priority when looking to identify talent can progress through our clients is the strategic element - as this is often harder to find and harder to identify. Execution can often be coached and developed - whereas the ability to inspire, and devise a strategy resulting not only in growth from a revenue perspective, but also from a culture standpoint is in short supply.
When looking to identify strategic and leadership qualities, we find it very important to give candidates a platform during interviews to express themselves. Being strategic is often associated with someone's creative qualities, and the more traditional interview styles can sometimes stifle this. By using interview styles such as biographical and giving the candidate a platform to express themselves, organisations can truly understand how a candidate thinks and subsequently acts - making it easier to establish are they an executer, a strategic leader or ideally both!
So when engaging with candidates for a role, consider what you are trying find in the perfect candidate and align your interview process to that skillset. A rigid interview style and process only serves to make it more challenging to identify core skills. A fluid and tailor made approach allows your decision makers all of the information needed to ensure you recruit the very best talent available to you at that given time.
So, what’s the real difference between a manager and a leader? Effective managers are project-focused and might be described as organized and detail-oriented. On the other hand, dynamic leaders are visionaries who inspire teams to go above and beyond. A leader adapts their management style to the individual and can get the most out of each team member.