Tags – Difference between management and leadership

A common mistake in business is to confuse management and leadership.

Here are 7 differences between those who manage and those who lead.

1. Maintenance or Change 

A manager is someone who is charged with the responsibility of running the show.

Whether running an office, a team or a project, a manager has a handle on day-to-day activities. For instance, a manager will maintain and progress existing systems and processes.

However, a leader will look objectively at an operation or project, willing to make any necessary change

2. Improve on Existing Skills or Learning Something New

Whilst a manager will hone their existing skills and look to maintain and improve on their successes, leaders think differently.

For example, a leader will seek to continuously develop personally.

Equally, a leader realises the need to look for innovative ways to keep on evolving.

3. Give Direction or Allow Others to Find their own Way

As any good parent knows, allowing others to find their own solution is the only way to allow true growth and development.

As such, a leader will look to allow those who follow them to find solutions for themselves. However, a manager will demonstrate how best to achieve the work they set.

Equally, they see their role in solely giving direction.

4. Different Levels of Communication

Whereas a manager will look to communicate what needs to be done, a leader will communicate more deeply.

Moreover, a leader will seek to motivate their staff and draw the best out of them, allowing them to flourish.

Although a manager’s focus is to achieve a certain set of goals, a leader will go further into developing their staff’s input and expectation.

5. Leadership Inspiration

The mark of a leader is one who inspires those around them.

For instance, there’s a difference between a member of staff who follows instruction and one who’s inspired to react to reach a solution.

As such, a leader’s influence and inspiration keeps members of staff engaged, committed and loyal.

6. Authority

An interesting synergy between leaders and managers is that a manager isn’t always a leader and a leader isn’t always a manager.

For instance, a manager may well run a team and direct them to a suitable conclusion but isn’t always a leader.

Conversely, a leader does not have to be a manager or anyone in authority.

A leader is someone others wish to follow because of their personality, behaviour or beliefs, not because they have to. 

7. Leadership Gets Results

Ultimately, a leader will always get better results than a manager.

Whilst members of staff will carry out tasks set by a manager, a leader will optimise productivity.

A leader motivates by setting an example.

Similarly, a leader is genuinely interested in the success of their followers, not just in getting the job done.

Moreover, a leader has vision, passion and is more likely to challenge the status quo rather than to merely maintain it.

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