Leadership and Management: Are They Synonymous?

Leadership and management are often considered synonymous, but they are not the same. While there is some overlap between the work done by leaders and managers, there are also significant differences. It's essential to understand that leadership is an essential part of effective management. To produce the best results, managers monitor budgets, contracts, projects and processes and ensure that resources are well organized and applied.

Leaders set a new direction or vision for the people who follow them, train, guide, develop and inspire the people around them, communicate their vision of what can be achieved, and help develop strategies to realize that vision. They motivate people and negotiate resources and other support to achieve their goals. Good managers must strive to be good leaders, and good leaders often need management skills to be effective. Leadership refers to a person's ability to influence, encourage, and allow others to contribute to the success of the organization.

Leadership skills are used to focus on potential change by setting direction and aligning, motivating and inspiring people. A leader is someone who recognizes and celebrates accomplishments while using disappointments as learning opportunities. He is someone who moves forward with confidence, focusing on a vision. A manager may try to minimize risks, while a leader convinces supporters that it's worth taking a risk.

A manager controls or directs people and resources in accordance with the principles or values established by the organization in which they work. Most managers have authority that suggests a degree and have employees who work for them in a chain of command. These labor relationships are largely transactional. The manager directs the employees of his team and communicates priority tasks for the day or week, the subordinate executes those tasks, and the manager supervises and approves the work or returns it.

A Manager Does More Than Acquire and Exercise Power. Use management skills to plan, build, and direct organizational systems to accomplish missions and objectives. Managers generally ensure that daily operations run smoothly according to pre-set parameters. Ensure that important work is done and done well.

Focus on meeting objectives, often with a controlled approach. When it comes to project management, a good manager is able to set clear objectives, plan thoroughly, develop standard procedures and processes, monitor results against plans, and take corrective action as needed. Leaders may completely lack management skills, but they can still succeed if they have the ability to unite the supporters behind their vision. A great leader is often a source of ideas and inspires colleagues to act, but they may not be good at the core of completing a project.

Leadership is more about inspiring, motivating and innovating than managing people or resources. Leadership qualities include the ability to attract colleagues based on integrity and determination. A Leader's Magnetism and Honesty Can Bring People Together to a Cause. Your laser focus on a novel idea can inspire others.

The reward for performing well for a manager can be something transactional such as a paycheck; however, the incentive offered by a leader can be more transformative; it can simply be the experience of working with that leader. As shown in Table 1, leadership and management functions flow in a continuum that are not separable. Koehn referred to the work of HBS professor John Kotter who said he rightly defined “leadership activity”. In an opening debate at Harvard Business School Online's annual conference Connext HBS professors Nancy Koehn and Joe Fuller explored the interaction between leadership and management and shared how they define the two disciplines.

It's rare for you to find someone who is truly excellent in both respects; however, both in the academic environment, especially within high-performance organizations leading and managing are not only inseparable but they are one and the same thing. Any effort to separate the two within an organization is likely to cause more problems than it solves. Therefore leadership and management must go hand in hand. Explore our online leadership and management courses to learn how you can take charge of your professional development and accelerate your career.

Edna Freemon
Edna Freemon

Freelance coffee lover. Friendly pop culture buff. Music maven. Professional twitter maven. Unapologetic zombie junkie. Lifelong food lover.

Leave a Comment

Required fields are marked *