Following our Leadership/Management session, us residents were given 3 scenarios and each asked to determine if we would choose either a manager or a leader to fill the roles. You know what they say: If you want a job done right, find the right person for the job! These were my thoughts and I would love to hear yours!
1) Someone to be responsible for organizing the upcoming 10th annual film festival.
A manager: I would prefer a manager in this case. Assuming the film festival has been successful over the past 10 years, the direction, vision and goals of the event are likely solidified. To ensure continued success, the organizer would require strength in planning and budgeting as well as organizing people and resources. This individual would also require the ability to employ creative problem solving in the face of dilemmas to ensure the event was well orchestrated and organized. A leader may change the ambience and direction of an already successful and established event. In this case, a person is needed to continue with the current course.
2) A captain of newly built star ship set to explore space.
A leader: I would prefer a leader in this case. The captain would be responsible for leading a group of people into the unknown and would require the ability to unify them towards a common vision during this long mission. The captain would need to empower his officers to run portions of the spacecraft relying on their expertise. The captain would need to motivate and inspire his crew to follow him/her daily and in periods of crisis. As the captain, he/she will require the skill to build the crew into a team and to forge alliances with new alien civilizations. A manager alone may not build a strong team or foster a good team spirit and establish direction for an extended mission with unpredictable outcomes.
3) You own a very successful cupcake business and now need someone to take over the first store of new cupcake franchise.
A manager: I would prefer a manager in this case. I have already created and executed a successful business plan/product and now I need a person to hire and organize staff, budget effectively, implement structure and problem solve technical difficulties within the new store. A store manager would be expected to follow a predetermined plan to create a store that parallels the current cupcake business. Changes to the store model or merchandise (e.g. new cupcake frosting) may not deliver the consistent product associated with the franchise name. A leader may make significant changes to the business when consistency is needed within a franchise. To illustrate the point, would you want someone changing the ingredients in your famous starship cupcakes? I most certainly would not.