The Difference Between Management and Leadership
The terms management and leadership are often used improperly. The terms are not interchangeable. Each position has its own certain and separate responsibilities.
All too often, management and leadership are used as if they were interchangeable ways of describing a certain function or position within a company. In reality, there is a huge difference between the two. Although some areas in the actual description or practice of each do overlap, the terms are not interchangeable.
So. what is the difference between management and leadership? To answer this question, let's have a closer look at the most important aspects of these positions.
1. Focus and Priorities
Managers are focused on the here and now. They are usually responsible for day-to-day operations which requires them to set immediate priorities and forecasts dotting out the crisis or delay in production could make them focus on the long-term goal.
2. Creation and Innovation
Management is all about "managing" and maintaining systems already in place. The purpose is to make sure everything is on schedule and running smoothly. People, equipment and the entire company must be managed to ensure the business is humming along the way it should. Leaders are more about creating this process, innovating and finding new and better ways of operating the company or producing new and improved products.
3. Details vs The Big Picture
Managers must have their ears to the ground. They have to know all of the workers, what each person is responsible for and how each job is performed. This is important in case of emergency. Knowing all of the details allows them to quickly and effectively respond when something goes wrong. For example, if a worker becomes ill or injured and must leave, the manager has to know who is qualified to take over this position. The manager has to keep a cool head in a crisis and be able to handle that crisis without disrupting the entire operation.
An effective leader should also possess these skills. That is why many companies assign a team leader to handle these situations until the manager can take over. However, the main leader of a company is more focused on the big picture. He is responsible for keeping the company in the black by establishing a sustainable business practices and securing new customers.
Skills can be learned or acquired but your personality is something you are born with. In an organization, there may be several managers, so there could be a fairly large support network. Managers from different departments can get together in the manager's lounge to vent their frustrations and get advice from other managers. Leaders, especially those at the top of the organization, can be quite isolated. This means they need a solid personality based in self-belief, self-reliance, motivation and extreme drive. Additionally, the ability to build a wider network would be very beneficial.
5. Knowledge and Expertise
People managing a department, activity, process or project should have thorough and detailed knowledge of whatever they are managing at the time. They should also be experts in the field.