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Leadership vs. Management: Is There a Difference?

Leaders and managers are not exactly alike. Not all managers are leaders. If you work as a manager, how you approach your job impacts your ability to become a leader. And if you understand the difference between leadership vs. management, you’ll be able to serve your team to the best of your ability, day after day. 

What Is a Leader?

According to McKinsey, leadership refers to a set of behaviors people use to get on the same page. A leader may be responsible for executing strategic plans or helping an organisation achieve its goals. Along with this, a leader guides others, encouraging them to work together for the greater good. 

There are several traits that can help a leader thrive. These include:

  • Having distinct goals
  • Establishing a clear vision for themselves and their team
  • Fostering trust within a team
  • Being open and honest with others
  • Inspiring others
  • Driving innovation
  • Maintaining high standards

You may not become a leader overnight. Conversely, if you commit time, energy, and resources to build your leadership skills, you may be able to become the leader your team deserves. 

What Is a Manager?

A manager helps employees achieve an organisation’s goals. As a manager, you may work with a wide range of workers. You communicate and collaborate with these individuals, ensuring they are well equipped to achieve the optimal results. 

Some of a manager’s day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Acting as a go-between with upper management and employees and/or customers and various departments across an organisation
  • Teaching employees the skills they need to complete projects
  • Hiring workers
  • Conducting employee performance reviews
  • Tracking and managing a department’s budget
  • Resolving department problems

The top managers typically possess strong communication and customer service skills. They also strive to be effective leaders. 

Leadership vs. Management: Which Is Better?

In the leadership vs. management debate, it may be better to focus on being a leader over a manager. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Leaders are innovators. A leader wants employees to experiment and find better ways to do things. Meanwhile, a manager focuses on organisation, ensuring workers stay on track without necessarily pursuing innovations. 
  • Leaders inspire trust. A leader is more likely to encourage an employee to do something on their own and learn from their mistakes. On the other hand, a manager prioritises control and wants to make sure a worker does something according to specific requirements. 
  • Leaders ask open-ended questions. A leader considers all possible solutions to resolve problems. Comparatively, a manager emphasises the how and when, which may hamper their ability to identify long-lasting solutions to problems. 

To become an effective leader, listen and learn from your team. For example, you can provide feedback to an administrative team or other groups within your organisation. At the same time, ask for feedback, so team members can help you lead them. 

Also, lead from the front. Do your best as you complete work tasks. When employees see your work ethic, they may follow suit. This may allow you to guide your team to new heights. 

Want to Add Leaders to Your Team?

At Elby Professional Recruitment, we can help you find and hire leaders for your team. To get started, contact us today