What’s the Difference Between Leading and Managing?
People who head teams in the workplace are commonly seen as leaders or managers. More often than not, the former label can be substituted for the latter, and vice-versa. But are leading and managing really that synonymous, or do they have clear-cut differences? In our business series, we explore those differences.
Inc provides a 10-point list that compares leaders to managers. They explained how leading usually comes with vision and imagination. Leaders motivate their teammates to move forward to reach goals. Given this nature, they are more likely to take risks.
Managing, meanwhile, is more focused on day-to-day operations. Managers ensure that the tasks performed by workers are in line with the vision and mission of the company. Their job relates to maintaining the status quo, often making them risk-averse.
In other words, leading is about the big picture, while managing is paying more attention to the details.
But while there are differences between the two roles, BFS Capital cautions against focusing exclusively on one or the other. They stressed that organizations are continuously evolving and adapting to the changing industries and economy. People holding top positions that only exhibit traits of either one may end up affecting their output. To make matters worse, this can cause a domino effect and impact the performance of their team or even the entire operation.
A great boss should be both a good leader and manager. He or she must have the ability to switch on the skills of either when needed.
Those who possess both managerial and leadership skills help the organization move forward faster. In fact, the Wall Street Journal says that reversing bad company culture will require skills from both sides. This means winning both the hearts and minds of the workers while directing them towards a certain goal.
If necessary, employees should be aware that some changes need to be enforced, and form strategies with the persons in charge to facilitate implementation. Workers should also be motivated enough such that they would be interested to accept and bring about the adjustments.
If you are on the road towards a leadership or managerial role, Leadership Toolbox provides a guide on how a manager can exhibit leadership traits and vice versa. For instance, managers who want to become leaders should learn how to effectively gauge the team’s morale. They must take the necessary steps to keep it high.
Conversely, leaders who want to develop managerial traits must evaluate where they currently are. They should take note of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses, including their own. This allows you to designate the best personnel for specific tasks or handling certain processes. Doing so ensures that each member on the team is providing valuable contribution to the operations.
However, that the focus must not remain on the differences. You should study each role instead, and assess how one can complement the other. By effectively merging leadership and management skills, it’s easier to propel yourself and your team towards success.