What is the Difference Between Leadership and Management?
Over the last two decades, there has been a noticeable shift in the kind of work environments that businesses are trying to cultivate at different levels of employment. There is an understanding that has developed, which focuses on the idea that workers must no longer be treated as cogs within a machine, but as knowledge assets capable of adding significant value towards the growth of the firm. Employees are recruited and trained by managers who not only need to have extensive knowledge of their field, but need to be able to communicate this effectively to maximize the productivity of the workforce.
As such, in the quest for innovation, successful leaders will understand that it is not enough to simply control or direct subordinates. Motivation needs to come from within an individual and it is the leader’s responsibility to inspire it. Management on the other hand does not necessarily involve the function of man-management. Management typically refers to the day to day operations of a firm, and relates to short-term activities. Managers are conventionally understood as being concerned with motivating their workforces to reach short term goals.
Management and leadership are difficult to distinguish between in the modern corporate world. However there are important features that do not overlap between the two. The most important of these features lie in the understanding of the two roles of leader and manager. While a manager must ensure that things are running smoothly in the firm, in many companies, this can be done without much communication and employee engagement. Some companies require standardized roles to be performed and measuring results is made simpler.
Productivity vs. Strategy
Leadership, on the hand, must not only develop strategy on the part of the business, but also plan and create frameworks within which employees can work. They need to inspire their workforces to lead the business in new innovative directions, rather than simply delegating responsibility. Leaders are intimately related to the long-term future of the business, whether this relates to business strategy, or mentoring others in the organization. Leaders do not need to solve problems that are in front of them but have to be up-to-date with industry knowledge so that they can solve problems that do not exist yet. Leaders will be required to have the vision to anticipate future hurdles and opportunities. Managers, on the contrary, are not typically involved in the vision of the overarching business. It is their responsibility to achieve targets with little thought for an employee’s personal growth.
Philosophy vs. Procedure
Leaders are also responsible in developing the philosophy that the company adheres to. Many firms nowadays, make it a point to define themselves within moral and ethical paradigms. A business philosophy is extremely important in maintaining the image of a business as professional and reliable. It is the responsibility of the leader to develop this philosophy with the help of his/her extensive experience, and the vision of the company itself. Managers will be required to integrate a particular business philosophy into workplace practices and ensure that the right procedures are being followed.
The truth is that management and leadership go hand in hand in today’s corporate sphere. High ranking individuals are required to inspire their workforce to express themselves creatively, mentor them as well as motivate them towards reaching their targets. Business owners will need to generate business strategy side by side with employee engagement and optimization. While the line between management and leadership continues to be blurred, it is possible to say that management is, in fact, only a subset of leadership. The manager supports, while the leader inspires.
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