Supervisor, Manager or Leader: Which are you & how can you level up?

Which are you and for which do you want to be known?

So many titles, so little time.  The definition of each of these roles – Supervisor, Manager, Leader – is often misunderstood and used interchangably.

It’s so common, in fact, that it’s likely all of us have at one time or another gotten them mixed up or misunderstood them.  So many times the line may seem blurred, but just asking the question will help  be a differentiator for you. If we break these titles down to simpler roots – action words - we have supervise, manage, lead.  Ok, simple enough.

Let’s start with Supervisor. When we supervise, we are overseeing the work of others, as noted by People Matters.  This is why the title is most often associated with a first line manager or lower/entry-level manager.  Next we have Manager.  Per People Matters, a Manager directs and controls staff and resources. They are known as the problem solvers.  Lastly, we have the Leader.  A Leader guides, creates, and inspires. Seems like these titles go up in level of responsibility and for sure, pay grade, but ask yourself if you could be viewed as a Leader, even if your current job title is manager or supervisor?

Sure! In any given day, you probably have multiple opportunities, to act as all three and even push yourself to be a Leader, more often than not.  It is simple to oversee others.  That is where we start. Next we direct them.  But, if we can guide, inspire our staff and organization that is when a boss, manager, supervisor evolves to a Leader.  What are the key differentiators between each? It comes down to control and trust. 

By hiring these employees, you have trusted them to be a part of your organization, your vision, the company’s success – and even your success. Continue focusing on that feeling of trust. Do you feel like you still need to spend more of your time overseeing or directing?  Why is that?  Sometimes it is as simple as not having the right tools in place to give you the peace of mind that all duties and tasks are being communicated and completed.  There are solutions, like Movista, that simplify and provide you with visibility, that knowledge that things are in order, that peace of mind that things are getting done.

Then you can focus on guiding, inspiring, creating.  Isn’t that really why you went into Leadership in the first place?  You are not an army of one.  You hired these people for a reason.  You created a team to achieve your mission.  Trust these employees to do their jobs; they will look up to you to do yours. Make them feel empowered and successful. Inspire and be the guiding hand that leads them to their next success, which leads to your success, which leads to the company’s success. It’s a virtuous cycle (not a vicious one).

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It's about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work, and you have to inspire teammates and customers.  Even if your title is supervisor or manager.

How will you impact, influence, and inspire?



Why is it important to level up with your retail execution efforts? Glad you asked. 

business success, teamwork, leadership talent, attitude, leadership, employee retention, employee engagement, goal setting

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