Leadership versus management, the fact is that being great at management does not always equate to being a great leader.
You might wonder whether you are a manager, or if you qualify as a leader? Too often the two words are used interchangeably. However, there are many distinct differences between a manager and a leader. Each requires very different personality traits and unique talents.
As you discover these unique traits you will gain insight and self-confidence. Through this awareness you can begin to work toward improving your weaker areas. The result is greater impact and effectiveness when dealing with others and running your business.
First, let's consider the varying styles between leadership versus management.
Managers focus heavily on providing thoughtful rationale to their team and maintaining a level of control over the course of events; they tend to be effective problem-solvers.
Managers place much value on their ability to focus, and keep other people focused, on goals, ensuring proper use of resources, creating efficient organization structures, and getting the most out of their people.
Managers are often asking the question, "What problems need to be solved? What tasks need to be accomplished? They are persistent, hard workers, smart, process-oriented, and truly care about their customers and employees.
Leaders are a much rarer breed when comparing leadership versus management. Leader are more likely to be perceived as highly intelligent, but sometimes prefer to be a one-man show, as others recognize that the leader marches to the beat of a different drummer - which is not to say this is a bad thing.
Leaders are highly self-disciplined, and as a result they are more effective at leading by example.
Leaders are not interested in achieving control of others because they are so confident in themselves. Leaders are constantly looking over the horizon, they are very effective at seeing around the corners; anticipating what's coming next, and planning to take advantage of future circumstances.
Leaders are creative, passionate, and willing to take well planned risks - something managers have a much harder time with.
Leadership versus management: Each have very different attitudes toward goals.
Managers are more likely to demonstrate passive, sometimes even reluctant, attitudes toward goals. They establish goals out of a duty, rather than out of a true desire. If the larger organization did not insist on goal setting as an annual ritual, managers would be less likely to make the investment.
Leaders understand the true value of goal setting. They realize that today's goals, once achieved, will lead to higher goals the following year, and the year after that. Leaders value goal setting today for the value the process brings well into the future.
Even more importantly, leaders understand that the greatest value of goal setting is not that it makes the employee produce more. The greatest value is that it forces that employee to become their better self in the process. The more that employees are reaching to strive to greater heights, the greater they will become in the process.
Leadership versus management: Managers and leaders have very different relations with others.
Managers enjoy working as part of a team. They value activities that bring their people closer together, but they also tend to keep a strong line between themselves and their team members.
Managers understand the value of collaboration between their group, but they often maintain a lower level of emotional involvement in the relationships they have, whether inside or outside the work environments.
Managers will work diligently to address and reconcile differences; they actively seek to compromise in order to accomplish their goal. Unfortunately, because they are so willing to compromise and can't stand the thought of being viewed in a negative light, managers run the risk of being perceived by others as self-absorbed, detached, and manipulative.
Leaders maintain a higher level of self-awareness. They best leaders are those who actually study leadership. They work hard to educate themselves about a wide variety of subjects. Leaders tend to be very perceptive. They actively observe others and quickly assess how they can leverage relationships to create a win-win scenario.
Leaders identify what will motivate other people, and work to leverage the energy and enthusiasm of others in order to achieve their objectives. In the process, they are viewed as being caring, thoughtful, smart, funny and someone who others aspire to associate with.
Leadership versus management: Their sense of identity of is often greatly influenced by their past.
Managers tend to come from fairly regular, calm and well adjusted households. Their upbringing is typically straightforward and their childhoods lack any abuse or turbulence.
Managers report they have a strong sense of community and they place high value on maintaining a peaceful home life They place tremendous emphasis on maintaining harmony, both on and off the job.
Managers tend to see themselves as someone who maintains orders for the benefit of the larger constituency. They demonstrate a desire to development processes which focus on the greater good, protecting less fortunate people from whatever it is they are lacking. This socialization process prepares managers to support their institution and to maintain a clear balance of social relations in the workplace. This is a strong difference when looking at leadership versus management.
Leaders are more likely to have experienced a much harder time of it during their childhood, and even well into their young adulthood. Their lives are ofter marked by a pattern of struggle, which has helped to shape them into a fighter, someone who is unwilling to yield in the face of adversity.
Leader actively seek out to find some sense of order. Leaders are less likely to take anything for granted and are not satisfied with the status-quo. Leaders report that their "self awareness" comes along with a feeling of profound separateness.
While leaders may work in small or larger companies, they feel as if they don't quite belong to them, nor do they want to belong. They highly value the work they accomplish on their personal goals, independent of their work roles. They are less likely to derive value from joining clubs, or by achieving other indicators of social identity.
Development of leadership versus management - what to look for.
You can already see how managers and leaders possess very different strengths and weaknesses, and there is tremendous value in both types of people. Just because you fall into the strong manager category doesn't mean you are less important than a strong leader. Both types are extremely valuable, but each has a unique role in any organization.
Managers are very good at maximizing output from specified tasks. They maintain a strong level of stability and order to the organization. However, they are not always as effective at seeing around the corner; identifying new trends or upcoming challenges; or preparing the organization for substantial change.
In contrast, leaders tend to be highly effective at rousing their team members; raising their expectations, and taking them in new directions that they would never envision themselves going.
However, not unlike musicians, painters, singers, pro athletes or other people who possess unique talents and abilities, leaders often suffer from an inner need to possess material things. We've all seen the rise and fall of leaders in any given industry that suffered from not being able to achieve or acquire enough "stuff". There is no end to their desire to acquire greater fame and fortune.
If you are planning on owning your own business, you must develop management skills - skills that will ensure the necessary tasks are completed, measured and improved upon over time. However, if you have a strong sense that you are a leader, one who simply needs some spit and polish, ask yourself what you can do to develop yourself as the leader who wish to become.
It's been proven over time that highly effective leaders require strong mentoring relationships. Most all great leaders can point to a mentor, or someone whom they have adopted as their mentor; someone who inspired them and laid the foundation for their future achievements. Mentoring is the number one factor in determining leadership versus management personnel.
If you think you are a leader, then by all means surround yourself with other leaders and learn from them while being generous to those some people. Consider creating a mastermind group where each member contributes their knowledge and experience for the benefit of all participants. Many mastermind groups adopt the phrase, "Iron sharpens iron", which means that the more you push each other, the better you all will become.
The more you develop yourself as an effective leader, the greater the rewards will be both on and outside the workplace. So what do you aspire to improve in? How do you compare leadership versus management?
The choice of developing yourself into a leadership versus management role can be profound, and both are highly valuable to any organization.
Leadership articles provide leadership motivation for small business owners and team leaders. Begin creating your leadership lesson plan today! Download our free leadership development tools to achieve effective leadership traits that serve your team well.