Do you consider yourself a manager or a leader? What is management? What is leadership? These two ideas are often connected and interchanged. Some people believe you can be both, or that being a manager automatically makes you a leader.
The terms are, in fact, separate and distinct. There are traits to being a manager which are different to being a leader. Once you understand the differences, you can excel at being the best manager or an inspirational leader.
We will go through the differences, what each role does, and help you understand what it takes to be a leader or a manager. For more in-depth learning about leading people, see what training and resources we provide.
What is leadership?
Leadership is a facet of character. It is the ability to inspire others, motivate them, and to guide individuals and teams towards common goals. You’ve heard terms like ‘lead by example’ and ‘lead from the front’. This shows the inspirational and motivational aspects of being a leader.
A leader sets the vision, and can see the bigger picture and what is needed for people to get there. They work on the level to which their people are intrinsically motivated to perform. And ensure that their values capture the unique essence of the vision and what they stand for.
What is management?
Management is the ability to execute the vision of a leader. It is understanding what is required from your team, or individuals, and helping them achieve this. A manager will delegate tasks to the team and monitor the outcomes.
A manager needs good communication skills to understand how different people learn and do their tasks.
A manager is good at planning, organising and controlling. They're often in charge of numbers, KPIs, project development and management, performance management, weekly accountability.
Difference between leadership and management
So, what's the difference? Management is head. Leadership is heart.
A leader can stand up in front of the business and inspire them. A leader can say - this is our vision, let’s all work hard to achieve it!
The manager then needs to work with the staff to make it happen. The manager needs to understand how their people work best. A manager needs to be there to help their staff, discipline them on occasion, and make sure the team works well together.
The leader would be out networking and telling the world how great the business is and how everyone can benefit from working with you.
Management has subordinates, and leaders have followers.
What do managers do?
Managers are a part of an organisation. They have responsibilities to a business or a company, KPIs which are measured.
They direct the company towards sales goals, marketing goals, or the visions set by the leadership team.
They build the processes upon which the visions and goals are achieved.
They also look after and care for the needs of their people. They are there to help the people achieve the goals of the company.
There are different management styles. Some work better than others, depending on who you work with.
What do leaders do?
A leader does not need to be a member of the organisation. They do not need to be in a position of management to be a leader. They could even be an outside source of inspiration to your team. They can inspire others to greatness and not be directly a part of the organisation.
Whether the leader is in or outside of your business, all leaders look at the bigger picture. They show you how awesome you could be in 6 months or 12 months. They will help you create a fantastic 5-year goal. How do you get there? That is up to management to decide.
Thanks to their separation from being a direct part of the internal organisation, a leader can be pretty open and honest about what it takes to achieve goals and if the organisation is ready to go for them.
The Entourage can show you how to be an effective leader with your team, and we can show you how to change your leadership style as your business grows.
It can be inspiring to you, too, being a leader. Motivating other people can uplift your own spirits.
What are the traits a manager possesses?
There are four key traits that a good manager possesses:
- Ability to execute the vision. Once they know where the company needs to go, a manager can break down the roles and tasks and delegate them to the right team and the right people to get the job done.
- The ability to direct. Managers need to be on top of daily tasks, as well as the bigger picture. They need to be able to get people to complete tasks, and project work, in a timely manner.
- Good with process management. If there are no processes in place to complete work, a manager will build the processes, document them and ensure they are completed satisfactorily. They can lay down ground rules, KPIs and more.
- People focused. Having processes and goals is great, but it is the people who will execute the plans and achieve the goals. They need good people management skills, reward good behaviour, and resolve conflicts.
What are the traits a leader possesses?
A leader has five traits they exemplify:
- Vision. They know where they are, what is in their environment, and where they want to go, and they want to take you with them. They help you plan the path to get there.
- Honesty and integrity. You trust them. You believe them, and you walk with them and their vision.
- Inspiration. A leader inspires people to action, to follow them into battle. They take calculated risks and champion the people helping them achieve.
- Communication skills. They can talk, and through their words, inspire. They speak to everyone, check in with them, informing everyone what is going on, what is coming and how close to the goals are.
- Ability to challenge. Leaders challenge the status quo. They want to rock the boat and get things happening. With their revolutionary thinking, they can come in with a different mindset from that of the company, and challenge you to rise up.
Your next step for leadership or management training
Every organisation needs both leaders and managers, and it is okay if they’re distinct individuals. You can be an awesome manager, adapting your team to hit the goals set by an inspirational leader.
You can inspire your company to great heights through your vision.
If you want some training to upskill yourself into a leadership role, we have all the resources, knowledge and expertise any small business owner would need. Claim your free business coaching session today to start your journey to inspiring leadership!
If you want to read more about leadership, check out our other leadership content here.
by Jack Delosa
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