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7 Key Differences Between Leadership and Management

“Leadership is doing the right things whereas Management is doing things right” is indeed a popular quote often heard when you are promoted to a role of managing people.

“Can you be a strong leader if you are a great manager?”

Though we use the titles interchangeably they mean completely different. Remember that you don’t automatically turn into a strong leader even if you are an excellent manager. It is not the title that inspires the people to get behind you but there are lot more things to understand that separates them.

What is Leadership?

Leadership is the quality of influencing the people, to understand and believe their vision then make them contribute towards the success of achieving your goals. Leaders are people with great charisma and are comfortable in taking risks.

What is Management?

Management is more of administering the employees and making sure that they adhere to policies and standards. They ensure that the goals of their leaders are strictly met. Managers tend to be rational as well as under control problem solvers.

Leadership Vs Management

Leadership vs Management

Knowing the key differences between Leadership and Management helps you to achieve the best balance of leadership and management qualities.

Leaders stand out, Mangers mimic:

Leaders build their unique brand and are never comfortable in other’s shoes. Being authentic and transparent in nature is what they love the most. Managers adapt their leadership style by mimicking their leaders rather than defining their own.

Leaders are risks lovers, Managers minimize risks:

Innovations happen only if you try something new and that is what Leaders do even if they fail badly. They often push for change and feel that it is worth it but managers work to minimize risks. Instead of embracing the problems like how Leaders do, managers would keep them under control or work to minimize it.

Leaders are vision creators, Managers are task creators:

Leaders create their vision and inspire the people to walk along with them to achieve it. Their main motive is to create high functioning teams rather than task solvers, who can work in new ways to actualize their vision. Managers are task creators and they focus on setting, measuring and achieving the goals in controlled situations.

Leaders have to sell, Managers need to tell:

When you invent something, you need to convince people that your idea is going work which is what Leaders do. They need to sell their ideas and encourage the stakeholders them to buy them. On the other hand, managers are law enforcers and don’t have any ideas to sell. They make sure that the people fall back to procedures when slipped and start working again as directed by them.

Leaders build trust, Managers build process:

Building loyalty and trust is what Leaders concentrate on because they need to influence all the stakeholders in order to realize their vision. Managers focus on process and structures rather than building loyalty. They make sure that the standards set by the company are met and systems are in place.

Leaders aim for a distant goal, Managers opt short term:

Leaders aim big and stay focused to achieve them. They never expect regular acknowledgment and stay motivated all by themselves till they enjoy the fruitness whereas managers prefer to concentrate on short-term goals seeking for regular rewards to stay motivated.

Leaders love to learn new things, Managers rely on existing skills:

With the ever-changing economy, Leaders understand that if they are not learning new skills each day then they are at the stake of falling behind. They are curious in nature and would love to explore new things immediately to expand their thinking. Managers prefer to adopt proven behaviors and sharpening their existing skills.

Why Leadership and Management go hand in hand?

An organization needs both Managers and Leaders to travel on the smooth road. Lack of leadership leads to an uninspired and stagnant state. Lack of Management leads to non-compliance and not meeting the goals.

Remember that Leadership and Management may not be the same thing but they need to compliment each other.  Leaders are innovative, risk lovers and game changers whereas Managers are strict process followers and risk minimizers. A Leader’s grand vision can be carried out only with the help of managers. Similarly, Managers follow the standards and process but they need a constant inspiration to be driven by their Leaders.

Leadership and Management are inseparable and both are required by an organization for its survival and growth in this highly competitive business environment. Hence, a successful manager needs to acquire both Leadership skills as well as Management skills in order to make their team follow towards his/her vision.

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