To begin, management and leadership are not necessarily the same, but they do go hand in hand. Over the years, the lines between the role of a leader and a manager have blurred, and the terms are now being used interchangeably. With the lack of clarity in job expectations, many workplaces have not been able to succeed to its full potential, causing unhappy and unsatisfied employees. But is it necessary to have both within an organization? The truth is, an organization needs both to be successful. They are linked and complementary, and any effort to dis-attach these two will cause more problems than it solves. The manager’s job is to coordinate, plan and organize, while a leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. The experience between a manager and a leader is different. Being around a great leader is something that is hard to describe, but people ultimately feel better when they’re around them. However, managers ensure the day-to-day tasks are completed. Organizations who have individuals who are both leaders and managers will have a competitive advantage.
There are many traits that make up a strong leader. A strong leader is honest and has integrity. Leaders understand that it’s crucial to get people to believe in them and lead them onto the journey they are taking them on. They have the ability to inspire their team while making sure they understand that they are part of a bigger picture. In addition, they thrive on taking chances and doing things differently.
Managers, on the other hand, are able to execute a vision through breaking it down into a roadmap that makes it easier for employees to follow. They have the skills to direct day-to-day efforts, review resources needed and anticipate needs along the way. Managers also make sure the workplace is running efficiently and effectively by establishing rules, processes, standards, and operating procedures. They are very people focused; they know how to look after their people and needs.
Differentiating between leaders and managers are essential to the success of the organizations, but distinguishing which individual is best for each role is just as important. The common mistake made in almost every organization is placing people in leadership positions because they’re knowledgeable and excellent at what they do. Yes, someone may have the expertise and may be great at their job, but that does not mean they’ll be a good leader. Placing people in areas to fill a void isn’t going to solve anything in the long run.
Ultimately, others may be inherently doers, making them superb managers, while others are inherently thinkers, priming them for success as leaders. Leaders typically think more conceptually, so people rely on them to identify top-performing employees and their relevant KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) that can be leveraged to maximize organizational value. Then, workers lean on their managers, asking them to help brush up their skills. Together, the organization will grow and can significantly impact the satisfaction of the employees.