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Have you ever wondered what is the difference between management and leadership? Are you confused about whether you need to develop your management skills or your leadership skills?
Let’s try and understand some fundamental differences between management and leadership. Though leadership and management often go hand in hand, they are not the same thing. They are linked and complementary skills, however while the manager’s job is to plan, organise and co-ordinate, it is up to the leader to inspire and motivate employees.
One of the key differences between managers and leaders is that managers have subordinates, they have positions of authority given to them by the company. Theirsubordinates work for them and do as they are told to do in return for rewards.
Managers have three things in common:
- An authoritarian, transactional style
- Focus on getting the work done
- Prefer not to rock the boat and like comfortable jobs
On the other hand, leaders have followers. They only have subordinates when they multi-task as managers. Following is a voluntary activity and not something that can be forced.
Leaders have three difference things in common:
- They have a charismatic, transformational style
- They are focused on people
- They are risk takers and like to rock the boat
Management Vs. Leadership Tips
Over the next couple of pages we will look at the definition of management and leadership more closely along with what it is a manager and a leader does. We will also talk about ways to manage and ways to lead people and when to do what.
1. Manager Vs. Leader
The definition of management is ‘ to exercise executive, administrative, and supervisory direction of a group or organization.’
Whereas the definition of leadership is ‘a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal.’
2. Characteristics of leaders
Very often your role may demand that you toggle between the role of a leader and a manager. In order to do this is it important to understand what skills and strengths you need to use when you are leading and which ones to draw upon when you are managing.
Essential leadership Skills:
- Coaching skills, listening skills
- Confidence, self-esteem and consistency
- Creativity and ability to prioritise
- Being a visionary and being inspiring
- Balancing team and individual needs
- Sincerity, trustworthiness and willing to share praise and responsibility
- Expertise and a service mentality
3. Characteristics of managers
The skills required to manage a team effectively are different from those required to be a leader.
Essential management skills:
- Is stable and in control
- Is concerned with short-term objectives, and work
- Is knowledgeable and proficient in a specific work type or activity
- Has sound people skills or the ability to work with and manage people
- Is able to work with ideas and concepts and can see the bigger picture
4. Difference between management and leadership
Here are the fundamental differences between management and leadership:
- A manager looks at administration, a leader looks at innovation.
- The manager can copy others, a leader needs to be original
- Managers maintain, leaders develop
- Managers focus on systems and structure, leaders focus on people
- Managers control, leaders inspire trust
- Managers focus on short-term results, leaders focus on long-term results
- Managers ask how and when, leaders ask what and why
- The manager looks at the bottom line, the leader looks at possibilities
- Managers accept the status quo, leaders challenge it
- Managers do things right, leaders do the right thing
5. When to manage people?
Wear your management hat when you need to plan and budget, set agendas, establish timelines and manage resources.
Be a manager when it comes to organising and staffing, providing structure to your team, establishing norms.
Manage your team when you need to focus on results, solve problems, take corrective action or develop incentives. When you need results and need to focus on the work that is being done and how and when to do it that is when you need to be a manager.
6. When to be a leader?
On the other hand, you need to put on your leadership hat when you need to inspire people to follow your vision or to achieve lofty goals. Be a leader when you need to establish direction with your team, when creating a vision, clarifying the bigger picture or setting and developing strategies.
When you need to align people to the vision, communicate goals, seek commitment and build teams, you need to be a leader.
Lastly when you need to motivate and inspire your people, inspire and energise them, empower them or satisfy unmet needs, you need to be a leader.
Being a leader is all about changing things and moving things forward, being a manager is all about maintaining the current scenario with order and consistency, depending on what you need to achieve, you can decide which role you need to play when.