Understanding the difference between management and leadership is a critical skill that can enhance your professional growth and everyday life.
Both leadership and management are important and effective tools when used correctly. Identifying the qualities of each will help you be a more efficient leader as well as exercise a deeper level of critical thinking and empathy.
First, let’s understand the difference between management and leadership.
MANAGEMENT – the process of dealing with or controlling things or people
The definition of management is specifically controlling a group of people or objects into accomplishing a specific goal. A manager is a set role with responsibilities, assuring the day-to-day functions are achieved. Managers achieve their success through the implementation of processes; planning, organizing, setting objectives, and analyzing/identifying systems of measurement.
LEADERSHIP – the action of leading a group of people or an organization
Leadership has a more flexible meaning compared to management. Leadership refers to the ability to motivate, empower, inspire, and influence others to accomplish initiatives. Leadership is about helping people understand and believe in a vision. Characteristics of effective leadership are the ability to influence/encourage others, authenticity/transparency, innovation, risk-taking, empathy, and integrity.
So, what is the difference between management and leadership?
Managers focus on achieving organizational goals through an analysis of structures and processes, leaders utilize critical thinking, creativity, and innovation to capitalize on individuals & systems.
-Managers implement; leaders innovate
-Managers analyze systems and team structures; leaders analyze individuals
-Managers retain; leaders develop