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Should I Be a Leader, Manager, or Coach?

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As a small business owner, you may be asking yourself whether you should focus on being a leader, manager, or coach. The answer to this question depends on your startup requirements, day-to-day operations, and what role best matches your skills. It is important to understand the differences between the three roles to make the best decision for your business.

Any individual who is promoted into a management role doesn’t spontaneously become a leader. There are some crucial distinctions between leading people and managing them. In this article, we are going to explain the fundamentals of the three roles and how they make a difference in the overall operations of a company.

What is a Leader?

Leaders inspire and motivate their teams to reach their goals. They can connect with others and communicate a vision for success. Leadership is critical for small businesses to create a dynamic and positive culture. Leaders should be able to set expectations, provide guidance, and serve as role models for their employees.

What is a Manager?

The primary responsibility of managers is to ensure that business operations are running smoothly and efficiently without any glitches. They should be able to make decisions and solve problems to keep the business on track. Managers must be able to delegate tasks, monitor progress, and ensure that deadlines are met. They must also be able to manage a budget and ensure that the business is profitable.

What is a Coach?

Coaches are responsible for helping employees develop their skills and reach their potential. They should be able to identify areas where employees need to improve and develop strategies to help them reach their goals. Coaches should be able to provide feedback, support, and motivation to help employees.

 Now, let’s have a comparison between three roles an individual may adopt while running an organization:

Leader vs. Manager

There are important distinctions that set the role of leader and manager apart. Studies have shown that leaders are change agents while managers maintain the state of affairs. You can also say leaders are risk takers, while managers control risk factors. According to experts, leaders are visionary in their unique way, and  managers are goal creators and may base their practices on what has worked for others. In some cases, leaders build relationships by coaching their teams, but managers build systems by directing others about the processes.

Manager vs. Coach

Previously, the words manager and coach were used interchangeably however in today’s world they are not the same thing. Managers are more directive and transactional while coaches are consultative and collaborative. In other words, we can say managers are more solution-focused and point out issues or plans, while coaches are employee-focused and let employees determine the problems and come up with an action plan to sort things. Managers oversee the work of employees whereas coaches support the employees to execute the tasks.

Coach vs. Leader

Coaching and leading are often considered to be the same approach, however they are fairly dissimilar from one another. The major differences can be described as leaders being visionary. They set directions and influence others, whereas coaches are mentors who help and support others in their personal or professional development. As leaders, you can achieve goals together with your employees while making strategies and envisioning the future, but as a coach, you need to motivate, support, encourage, and build a strong relationship with your employees.

Are you a Leader, a Manager, or a Coach?

Sometimes people confuse these different managerial roles, but it is alway a good idea to have a firm grasp of what is expected from you in your position. In our opinion, leading is telling people what they need to do, while coaching is showing them the way to execute the tasks. Managing is guaranteeing that the tasks have been performed efficiently. These three roles can be used at the same time as well. The clearer you lead, the better you will coach your employees, and the less management you will need to do. So what have you decided, are you a leader, a manager, or a coach?


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