Crossing LeadershipTRAX

Group Manager or Team Leader: Which One Are You?

In any given business you are likely to find both group managers and team leaders. While the titles may sound somewhat the same, they are actually quite a bit different. Under closer examination we find that these two types of people in charge will not only lead quite a bit differently, but they will value things differently, see things in a different light and ultimately achieve quite different results. Here are some of the most obvious differences.

A group manager is generally very focused on the goal at hand and getting things done now and puts very little if any thought into what lies down the road.
A team leader is usually more visionary and considers both current goals and future possibilities when choosing a course of action.

A group manager generally waits for information to filter down from upper management or come in from employees or colleagues and then reacts accordingly. Making everyone happy and going with the flow are typical characteristics of the group manager.
A team leader is more proactive and more willing to make a stand based on the goals and visions of the team he is leading, and can motivate others to join and support the movement.

A group manager seems willing to involve employees in problem solving and making things change, but often feels threatened by this input and only takes it so far.
A team leader encourages the involvement of all team members and acknowledges, welcomes and utilizes their input.

A group manager often finds it hard to share information, somehow seeing it as a loss of control or authority.
A team leader, on the other hand, shares information completely and fully, realizing that having all the information makes his team more productive.

A group manager may feel very threatened by employees in the group who excel in their department, who aspire to learn more, or those who seem too knowledgeable.
A team leader welcomes those who want to learn and improve, seeing their enthusiasm as a way to better the team as a whole, and will encourage this behavior.

A group manager often has a tendency to ignore conflicts and disagreements within the group, hoping that that they will just go away or that the employees will solve their differences on their own.
A team leader is much more proactive and will make the needed effort to mediate differences, thereby maintaining the harmony of the team.

A group manager values his position as the person in charge, and the person who is getting things done. As a result, he may be very slow or reluctant to acknowledge either individual or group accomplishments.
A team leader is very diligent and very open about recognizing and rewarding both individual and team accomplishments.

A group manager often encounters resistance when trying to get the group to work together.
A team leader has the ability to share a vision and motivate individuals to work as a team.

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