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The terms leadership and management are often used interchangeably,  however, they are not synonymous. Leadership entails the ability to guide people towards a collective goal. On the other hand, management refers to the capacity to control things and situations as related to organizing and planning. Both leadership and management are important elements in the operations of a business or organization.

Here are a few differences between leadership and management:

Since leaders are responsible for ensuring that goals are accomplished, a leader must have the ability to communicate and motivate followers. Additionally, they must be able to properly and effectively delegate authority to the people that are most skilled at specific tasks. Creativity is also an extremely important characteristic of a leader. Few problems in business can be solved by rote memory, and creativity is key in helping you find a solution that works for your unique problem. Leaders must also remember to remain flexible because circumstances change. In such cases, rigidity can lead to the inability to guide people toward specific goals.

Furthermore, leaders have a way of interacting with their peers that creates a sense of trust. To lead anyone effectively,  you must be perceived as trustworthy. When people trust their leader, they tend to perform with a positive attitude and are motivated to reach goals that have been set.

Managers must be able to solve problems quickly, plan ahead and foresee any issues that might arise. Managers must also offer feedback to subordinates in a manner that will improve performance. Successful management is also dependent upon strategic thinking. Well-thought-out strategies ensure that subordinates understand their jobs and have the tools needed to perform specific tasks successfully. Managers must also have a great deal of commercial awareness so that they have the ability to function in their respective industries in a way that secures a competitive advantage.

When it comes to being in charge of a group of employees it’s also important to know how to effectively delegate. You can’t do everything yourself, and being a manager means that you know everyone’s skill-sets and motivating factors. Keen knowledge of your team can help you when deciding how to delegate specific tasks.

Management roles are much more about control, while leadership tends to focus more on the ability to motivate and influence others. Leadership is vital to an organization because it is oftentimes the leader who creates the vision and thinks past the problem thereby setting a vital example for employees.

Both leadership and management skills are necessary, and in an ideal scenario, the manager will also be a leader. When these skill sets are combined there is nearly nothing that can’t be accomplished. The best managers are leaders who know how to communicate and motivate while also thinking strategically and creatively to manage projects and realize collective goals. Businesses and organizations have a responsibility to employ individuals that are skilled managers and leaders and understand the importance of having both skill sets. The most effective managers marry leadership skills with managerial expertise to bring out the potential in their team within the organization.