Differences between Management and Leadership
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'Management and leadership', usually these words are generally heard
together. Are they interconnected? Are there any differences between them? This
is a discussion that has been going on for some time and will be around for some
time to come. It is a common topic for discussion in various management training
programs and management training courses. The fact is that you cannot escape
this topic if you are attending any type of management training program.
A leader is a person who leads whereas a manager is one who manages. This is
not funny, but we have to start somewhere and what better than the basic
definitions. The biggest difference as perceived by others is the way in which
they motivate people. In life nothing is black or white, everything is a
different shade of grey. Similarly a manager can be a leader and vice versa. So,
we can have a combination of both.
Management training manuals will tell you that managers have subordinates.
Managers are given some powers by the company and the subordinates have to do as
they are told. The incentive for a subordinate to do what the manager says is
the reward that is given. So, if the subordinate does as he/she is told they are
going to get their pay. They are not blind robots but the incentive makes them
behave like that. In contrast leaders have followers. And following is a
voluntary activity. Leaders do not tell people what has to be done, instead they
show them the way by taking initiative and doing things first. Leaders show them
that if they follow the leader they are going to fulfill their heart's desire.
What is the chief focus for a manager? Management training programs and
management training courses will tell you that the chief focus for a manager
should be a manager. They are paid to get things done. After all they are
themselves subordinate to some other manager. They often have deadlines looming
ahead so they cannot afford focusing on anything else. Leaders on the other hand
focus on people. They have a way with people; they give credit to others and
take blame themselves. This creates a loyal base of followers around them. This
doesn't mean that they are very friendly with their followers. On the contrary
most of them maintain a sort of aloofness to maintain their mystique.
Managers seem to seek comfortable lives. They are planners and so avoid
taking risks. They avoid situations which will lead to conflict and prefer to
have cordial relationship with others. Leaders on the other hand, seem to seek
risk. It is not that they are looking for thrills. The thing is that leaders
have a vision and so, are ready to face any problems that they encounter in
order to make that vision a reality.
There is a difference in the perspective of both. Whilst managers think
incrementally, leaders think radically. You have all heard of the phrase
"Managers do things right whereas leaders do the right thing." So, while
managers tend to do think by the book, leaders tend to go more by their
intuition. A manager is pragmatic whereas a leader is more emotional. That is
why we tend to follow leaders because they reach us at an emotional level.
Management usually consists of people who are experienced in their field. They
are people who know how the whole system works. A leader on the other hand can
be a new employee with new ideas and vision, but without the necessary
experience and wisdom to make it work.
So, will the twain never meet? They will and they do. As any management
training expert will declare a great manager is one who is also a good leader.
But, for a manager to be effective he cannot just be a leader. He needs the
formal authority of management to be really effective. Similarly a leader needs
to have some managerial skills if he has to realize his vision. We can go on
about the differences between management and leadership. Understanding the
differences is necessary so as to make the workplace more productive. And this
what all management training programs and management training courses say.
About the Author
Sean McPheat provides
management training to small, medium and large businesses. Sean designs and delivers bespoke management training courses across the UK, Europe, US and the Middle East.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-04-12 08:57:42 in Employee Articles