Is a good manager automatically a good leader or vice versa? Definitely not. Yet so many people continue to question the difference between leadership and management. And, many people view leadership and management in different ways.
In fact, managers tell people what to do. Leaders inspire people to do it.
More specifically, what are key differentiators between leaders and managers? In the book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences:
|Provides the direction||Provides the vision|
|A copy||An original|
|Focuses on systems and structure||Focuses on people|
|Relies on control||Inspires trust|
|Has a short-term view||Has a long-term perspective|
|Asks how and when||Asks what and why|
|Eye is on the bottom line||Eye is on the horizon|
|Accepts the status quo||Challenges it|
|Does things right||Does the right thing|
Every leader may not be a manager, but every manager should work to develop leadership capabilities. The success of a business lies not only in knowing the differences between the two roles, but also how they can work together. Both leadership and management are needed to get the whole team on board to work towards a shared vision and to achieve success.
Here are some ways leaders and managers can work towards better collaboration:
- Create Checks and Balances. A leader is the decision-maker, a manager’s role is to ensure a leader acts in the best interests of the company and that the employees are accountable to their objectives. Leaders provide the vision and goals for the company, managers then recognize the potential problems and implement processes to overcome them. To achieve the objectives set in place, leadership and management need to work together to discuss decisions that will impact the business, as well as identify the challenges and opportunities ahead.
- Recognize Both Roles Are Equally Important. Successful businesses constantly perform a balancing act between innovation and action. Companies with too many leaders may come up with great ideas but lack the clarity, systems and processes to execute. An idea gets you 1% of the way, execution 99%. Those with too many managers, on the other hand, tend to get bogged down in the day-to-day details and miss opportunities to grow. It is important to create the discipline and culture inside your business that values both innovation and implementation, whether it comes from different departments or must be allocated to different parts of your schedule.
- Embrace Strengths. Too often, people concern themselves with what others think of their leadership or management style. Instead, the primary concern should be if others can rely on a leader to identify and solve the right problem for the business. lManagers andeaders should know their strengths and how they can leverage them to help the company grow.
- Partner With Different Skill Sets. Any team can have a skills gap. Leaders develop and foster teams with different strengths and weaknesses, and managers supervise those teams on a tactical level. Good leaders and managers aren’t afraid to recognize a weakness and ask for outside perspective. They also understand that diversity breads strength and work to create a team to reflect that.
Both leaders and managers are equally important to the good health of business. When leaders and managers understand each of their roles, collaborate and provide each other with space to act, they set their business up for success. If you hold both of these roles in your current position, consider how you balance your dual responsibilities to effectively lead and manage your employees.