Human management

Differences between leadership and management

Good leaders are inevitable for the success of any organization. Starting from the top, a company needs senior or junior managers and even supervisors with leadership qualities to succeed. Personality and leadership play a bigger role in the success of a business than a person’s knowledge of the subject matter.

Leadership and management are two terms used commonly and interchangeably in business.

Generally speaking, people accept managers who are leaders. “Manager” is a designation conferred with vested legitimate power where leadership is a mindset and attitude that goes much further as a concept. Therefore, effective leaders most often turn into successful managers.

However, it is important to understand that management is an administrative skill to support team members during working hours, while leadership is a more conceptual approach to their professional and personal lives.

Management is at all times an operational aspect; it is about technically managing the team with established priorities, objectives, operational targets and many other key criteria related to personnel. However, the function of a manager with good leadership skills and qualities is, in addition to management skills, more that of a coach, mentor or even a spiritual guide who earns the natural respect of his subordinates. Such managers maintain energy, enthusiasm, dynamism and good humor in a team. Therefore, leaders become the strong point of an organization to maintain stability.

Effective managers

Management is about managing the day-to-day work. Effective managers introduce clarity, provide management information and feedback, develop skills, monitor day-to-day activities, and navigate the general operation. They provide the support needed to impact the professional roles of team members.

Yet a good leader is more concerned with the future and inspiring others to achieve results. They understand the big picture, vision and mission of the organization and relate them to the larger set of organizational goals. Therefore, a combination of the two criteria, management and leadership, is a formidable force that can provide the best result for a business organization.

In a business context, leaders and managers have many similar characteristics. Even so, the main difference is that they approach situations in different ways. In reality, leaders and managers aim to motivate people to achieve goals and deliver desired results. Naturally, managers focus more on operational aspects and short-term goals. However, a leader-manager focuses on inspiring, encouraging, and empowering people to get things done.

What are the main differences between a typical manager and a good leader? Managers embrace the process and seek control and stability by seeking solutions to problems as quickly as possible. On the contrary, leaders tolerate time constraints to arrive at more futuristic decisions beneficial to the long-term goal. Therefore, the best option for an organization is to seek people with both skills.

Rationality and domination

The managerial culture favors rationality and domination. Managers direct their energy towards goals, resources, organizational structure, subordinates and superiors. Their tasks and responsibilities mainly revolve around solving problems, mainly in the short term. Managers expect their subordinates to achieve the best possible results in contributing to the organization. Therefore, the business fraternity invariably expects problem-solving skills from its managers.

From this perspective, leadership is a realistic effort to direct attention to accomplish an overall assigned task. While the task of managers is to ensure that employees function effectively at all levels, basic leadership qualities and skills such as perseverance, intelligence, empathy, tolerance and good judgment will help managers managers to become successful leaders.

Regardless of the skills of managers, their leadership can slow down processes if their vision is limited in relation to the creation of value in the work. Instead of motivating workers based on larger desires, if a manager has a narrow goal and the capacity for imagination is insufficient, workplace conflict can surface. Hence, the need for competent managers with greatness of leadership is necessary for a successful outcome.

Can there be a difference between a born leader and a made leader? What is the relevance of this for management capacity? There are people who possess some of the skills and qualities of a leader.

Examples of such leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Napoleon, and many others, are numerous in the history of the world. These types of leaders are natural and easily hone their leadership ability throughout their lives.

Nevertheless, even those who lack these natural leadership qualities can become successful managers. Long ago, people would always flock to those with visible command abilities and follow them.

Over time, with the growing population and changing business world, the number of people with such born abilities was insufficient to run organizations.

The ultimate conclusion is that recent scientific studies suggest that leadership is 30% genetic and 70% learned.

Although a person with born leadership qualities can be trained easily to become a successful manager, those who lack natural leadership traits can become a successful manager with proper leadership training.

This is great news for organizations because they don’t have to search for managers with rare natural leadership skills.

In business enterprises, managers at different levels assume the leadership role related to organizational goals through subordinates. The effectiveness of management and control is of crucial importance for the survival and growth of an organization. Therefore, organizations place great importance on effective management and leadership.

However, possessing personal qualities or traits does not completely guarantee effectiveness in an organization. Effective leadership also requires certain basic traits in people who take on the leadership role. Although these are prerequisites, to maintain and increase management effectiveness, managers must also possess administrative skills and knowledge.

Decision-making process

In business, managers prefer to work with people and build relationships with them based on the role they play in a sequence of events or in a decision-making process. However, more often than not, leaders relate to the same people in a more intuitive and empathetic way. The distinction between the two is that while managers simply focus on how work-related things get done, leaders focus on what events and decisions mean for their subordinates.

People, even those in business, often confuse leadership with management when they are actually different. Leaders let others follow them, while managers force people to simply work for them.

Management is more about administering people and general operating situations in an organization.

Leadership is about motivating people to grasp and believe in a vision set forth by the organization to achieve a common goal.

Therefore, business organizations need effective managers with leadership skills and traits. Leadership and management must go hand in hand to exist in tandem as the two concepts are closely related and complementary.