Being a good manager does not necessarily mean that you are a successful leader. However, we often see people using the terms “leader” and “manager” interchangeably, which may cause some confusion. What is the difference between management and leadership, and is one better than the other?
Knowing the differences between leadership and management will help you understand your role in the organization in which you work. By knowing the difference between these two terms, you will be able to develop your abilities to reach your full potential. Not only that, understanding what separates a leader from a manager will allow you to balance your leadership and management skills.
In today’s article, Forsa will explain the difference between management and leadership, and help you discover the best way to balance the two roles. Today we will answer the following questions:
_ What is the definition of leadership and management?
_ What are the differences between leadership and management?
_ Which is better? Leadership or management?
_ How do you strike a balance between leadership and management?
_ When do you use both leadership and management skills?
What is the definition of leadership and management?
Although the two terms are used overlappingly, they differ fundamentally from one another. Leadership skills come from leaders’ ability to gain approval from others. They use their influence to challenge different norms and direct innovation.
As management consultant Peter Drucker described them, they are changing the rules to bring about change. As for management, it is the process of coordinating and organizing the activities and tasks of a company or organization to achieve certain goals. Accordingly, the principal task of managers is to ensure that employees adhere to the company’s rules and policies. They work to achieve the goals set by their leaders through specific tasks such as planning, budgeting, coordination, and problem-solving skills. Although they are often highly qualified and have a sense of responsibility, their role in the organization or company is limited to implementing instructions.
What is the difference between leadership and management?
1- Focus on goals and vision/Focus on tasks
_ Leaders tend to focus on the goals and visions of their organizations. They look at the big picture and try to find new ways to bring their vision to life. They are always striving to try new things, but with a focus on the organization’s core mission.
_ As for managers, although they care about the organization’s vision, their focus is usually on adhering to the company’s policies and rules. They are responsible for implementing their leaders’ big ideas.
2- Persuasion / coercion
_ Since leaders are responsible for creativity and innovation, they must convince the people around them that their ideas are worthy of support. Ultimately, they derive their authority by encouraging others to think like them and follow their lead.
_ On the other hand, managers are not obligated to convince others of their ideas, because their role is to enforce the rules and ensure adherence to them. If one of them rebelled against these laws, then action will be taken against him. Employees do what their managers tell them to do, even if they aren’t convinced.
3- Take adventure/reduce risks
_ Every time you try something new you are on an adventure. Since leaders are always striving to bring about change, they try a lot of new things, and therefore they take risks almost daily.
_ As for the managers, they always try to reduce the risks, they make sure that the workers do their tasks properly, and in case of any problems, the managers may turn to the company leaders to find a suitable solution.
_ The responsibilities of the leader and the manager may overlap here depending on the way the manager performs his duties. In general, a leader gives his employees constant encouragement and encourages them to think outside the box.
_ As for the manager, he has a clear picture of the different areas of work… The manager may give some encouragement to the employees, but his main task remains to guide them on how to perform their different tasks. In other words, the boss is the person you turn to figure out the best way to do your job.
5- Challenge / Walk
With the trend, leaders need a challenge, otherwise, their organization will be at risk of stagnating and that is precisely why they are trying new things to see if they can make their companies more effective. They work to achieve consistency between the company’s policies and its vision. On the other hand, managers strive to maintain the status quo and go with the flow. They make every effort to enforce the general directives set by their leaders.
6- Motivate/Give consent
_ When trying new things, the chances of failure increase, so leaders must be motivated and motivated. They must also keep their employees motivated by connecting everything to the vision of the great company. When the company’s vision is strong, the leader can use it as a source of motivation and inspiration for employees.
_ It is different for a manager whose main objective is to make the appropriate decision about whether or not to do something. Managers look at the practices of their subordinates and other employees and express their approval or disapproval of these practices by referring to the basic instructions laid down by the company’s leaders.
7- Breaking the rules / sticking to the rules
_ Leaders need to break corporate rules to move forward because the rules are rigid and don’t allow for innovation, which leads them not to stick to them. And in cases where the company or organization is damaged, leaders may resort to completely ignoring the rules of the organization.
_ On the other hand, the only way a manager can maintain his position is by sticking to the rules and strategies set by the leaders. Violation of these laws may damage the position of the director and weaken the company.
8- Encouraging trust/imposing control
When someone leads you down a new, unpaved road, there is no doubt that you need a certain level of mutual trust between you and them. This is exactly what a successful leader must do, as he must convince his employees to trust him and walk with him to places and ranks they have not reached before.
As for the manager, the source of his strength is his ability to control employees. And here we mean control in its positive sense, i.e. maintaining order in the company. You don’t have to trust your boss to do what they ask you to do. Managers expect you to submit to their control so they can do their job properly.
9- Adopt ideas/assign tasks
Leaders thrive and grow by making improvements and trying new things. Therefore, we find that they embrace new ideas and respect freedom of thought because it supports their goals. They know that if they encourage more people to think outside the box, the power of group thinking will rise and lead to more development and creativity.
Conversely, managers cannot encourage free thinking because in this case, they will not be able to fulfill the company’s expectations. Assigning employees tasks and telling them what to do is the only way to ensure their success and the achievement of the organization’s goals.
Is leadership better than management then?
You may have noticed the difference between the tasks of the leader and the tasks of the manager, and perhaps it comes to your mind now that the leader is better than the manager, is this true?
In fact, the two complement each other. It is true that the leader is characterized by boldness, risk-taking, and creativity, while the manager seeks to maintain order and impose control, but this does not mean that one is better than the other.
Successful companies need leaders and managers to run smoothly. Loss of management exposes the company to loss of commitment and failure to achieve goals. Whereas, her lack of leadership exposes her to stagnation and loss of motivation and inspiration.
It may seem that the leader and the manager are on different sides of the scale, especially when it comes to power, but they are nevertheless part of the same team. A leader may have a great vision, but without managers working to achieve it, he will surely fail. Although managers are bound by rules and laws and strive to achieve them, if they are not motivated and encouraged by leaders, they will not be able to succeed in their work.
How do you strike a balance between leadership and management?
There is a perfect balance point between leadership and management…and a successful company can get to that point. The truly successful are those who know when to use their leadership skills and when to use their management skills.
When do you use leadership skills?
The degree to which you use leadership skills depends on the work environment and the nature of the company’s work and workforce. If employees are aware of the company’s vision and overall goals, they will be better motivated and inspired by using leadership skills.
For a person in a responsible position in the company to be able to rely on leadership skills, he needs to ensure that employees are aware of and adhere to the company’s overall policies. If you always have to keep track of your employees for essential tasks, it will be difficult to apply leadership skills to them.
But if the work team is made up of serious people who know their roles fully, and can reconcile creativity and innovation with their responsibilities, then the official can play the role of a leader to advance the company.
When do you use the manager role?
When a new employee comes into the company, he or she will need to be told how things are going in the organization. Here comes the importance of having managers in the company, especially when the work team is new. Because they help these employees know how things are going in the organization and how to do their work best. They are also better able to know the capabilities and competencies of employees. They know that giving them too many tasks will negatively affect their productivity. So they work to keep employees productive by understanding how each employee deals with pressure.
The bottom line is that companies need managers and leaders to work together to achieve the best performance. An organization cannot function on one without the other. Running a company of only leaders is like trying to control a herd of cats! Running a company made up of managers only means that a lot of tasks will be accomplished, but the company will not develop at all. A successful company balances leadership and management to achieve the best performance. It is a company that relies on a leader’s capabilities to motivate employees and encourage innovation while leveraging the manager’s problem-solving and decision-making skills to ensure employee commitment and increased productivity.