Today, management and leadership are used interchangeably. However, even when they pursue similar objectives, they are radically different. Allen Woo, a connoisseur of all things related to personnel management and business, explains the main differences between leadership and management.
Managers are often described as someone who tells people what they should do. Leaders inspire others through their words and actions, but without dictating. “These role portrayals, while semi-accurate, lead us to believe that we are naturally better off being called leaders than managers,” Woo explains. “However, it is important to know that both are necessary for an organization. As we will see, if an organization is running efficiently, leadership and management exist in tandem.”
Leadership and management are necessary competencies that add institutional value. Neither is superior or inferior to the other; they are simply different.
Leadership is about helping and inspiring people to achieve extraordinary results, to generate capabilities for excellence. Leadership is an activity of guiding and directing people to work together to achieve objectives. It requires a good vision and thinking outside the box.
“Leadership is not about titles, seniority, status, or management,” Woo points out. “A leader is someone who makes certain offers, requests, and promises. A leader generates an interpretation of the present, declares the possibility of a different future, and is able to generate trust in other people.”
The authority of the leader is given by the community being led. To be a leader, it is not enough to make a statement. The leader develops from his or her personal commitment to the mission and his or her competence to hold people together. Leadership will become evident when people give the leader the authority to lead the team toward mission success.
Leaders embody leadership mindsets, actions and are different. Leaders are defined by who they are as individuals and how they are perceived by their environment. You are not automatically a leader if you do leadership actions or hold a leadership position.
Management is the process of managing. As a manager, you are responsible for the operation and administration of the company and its workforce. This role ensures that the infrastructure for operations runs smoothly and that everything is exactly where it should be, when it should be, and that work is documented where necessary.
Managers are people who plan, organize and coordinate. They are methodical and always evaluate their process to make sure they are progressing as planned. If not, they adjust to going back to their baseline assessment.
Management is essential to ensure that an organization understands what they need to do and sets clear goals to achieve those objectives. This could be anything, from improving customer feedback to increasing profit margins.
Managers are also responsible for the top-down perspective of companies. Managers are often the eyes and ears for the business, and their influence is felt across the entire company. They work behind-the scenes to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
As you may have gathered, management and leadership overlap. Managers can certainly lead and leaders, in turn, can manage. However, the skills required to be good at either are different. The difference lies in how the two address similar challenges.
“Leadership requires vision, management requires tenacity,” Woo asserts. “A leader must develop a narrative, envision what the company will become, and state a mission. A good manager must be able to take that vision and transform it into reality using the resources that already exist in the company.”
Leadership inspires change; management manages transformation. A leader must set direction and inspire people to follow it. This process of following them often requires a lot of change, and this is where sound management comes in. It is the manager’s job to oversee the work required to implement the necessary changes and realize the organizational transformation set by leadership.
Leadership is more about inspiration, change, motivation, setting purpose and direction, as well as developing enthusiasm, unity and’stay power’ to see the journey through. Management is not about changing, but about stability and making the most of your resources to accomplish your goals.
Management and leadership are not two distinct things. They are often done by the same people. This is not the case of “You are either a manager, or a leader.”
Today it has been proven that it is critical for every organization to be a space for leadership. Every company requires leaders, people who have responsibility for declaring what game the organization will play and defining the roles of individuals within it.
An organization cannot survive without its own reading of the world, without a declared mission, without making alliances and seducing people to unite and work under a common commitment and background. This leadership space can occur with varying degrees of effectiveness and success. However, an organization always requires leadership.