The Difference Between a Manager, a Leader, and a Mentor

By Dan Simmons

One of the privileges of being a recruiter is that I get to work closely with a variety of executives and learn what they look for in the people they desire to hire.

Recently, I began to reflect on these leaders and what they look for in people, and I realized that I’ve observed the hierarchy of leadership.  Since I write a column each and every month for The Animal Science Monitor (which I recommend signing up for) I thought I would share my observations with you here.  For this purpose, I enlisted the help of dictionary.com in defining four key terms.

Executive: A person having administrative or supervisory authority in an organization.

Manager: A person responsible for controlling or administering all or part of a company or organization.

Leader: The person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.  A person followed by others.

Mentor: An experienced and trusted adviser.  An experienced person in a company, college, or school who trains and counsels new employees or students.

The most evolved executives I encounter are those who have what I call executive style.  These individuals have evolved from manager to leader to leader/mentor.  They control all or part of a company by counseling employees to become leaders themselves and by behaving in a manner that makes people passionately desire to follow the direction they’re headed and to achieve the organization’s goals.

These leaders do not talk in terms of dollars or units.  They speak about values, passion, customers and balance.  Of course, they manage their business units by the numbers, but they don’t manage people solely on numbers.  Instead, they lead them by ingraining the company’s vision into their team’s work and empowering individuals to make decisions in the company’s best interest.  These same leaders make certain that team members balance life and work so they will stay happy and self-fulfilled over the long haul.

I encourage each of the executives who read my column to reflect upon their own executive style and ask themselves if they would like to work under a leader just like them.

If you have any questions about this article, please contact me at dan@consearch.com.

Dan Simmons Bio
Dan SimmonsDaniel C. Simmons is a Certified Personnel Consultant who has been recruiting since 1991. Dan has won over twenty awards in the last decade with the Top Echelon Network, America’s leading placement network including Placer of the Year in 2009 & 2010.

Frequently Dan also is a recruiter trainer and has been featured at various Top Echelon Conventions and online as a speaker for various webinars. He has also been published in The Fordyce Letter the recruiting industry’s #1 magazine.

Is Your Company Looking for Great Candidates? Contact Dan Today!

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