People often mistake leadership and management as the same thing but in essence, they are very different.

Knowing that difference could dramatically change the way you do business and impact whether you manage or lead your team, or both. Because why can’t you do both?

The main difference:
Leaders have people who follow them,
while managers have people who simply work for them.

A successful business owner needs to be both a strong leader and a strong manager to get their team on-board to follow them towards their vision of success.

Managers plan and delegate

Let’s start with managers.

Managers usually plan and delegate. You know the one – They’re the person whose role is to ensure the work gets done. Thus, a manager’s decisions are usually ones that are best for the organisation itself, but not necessarily the employees.

Much of a manager’s time is spent reviewing financials, project costs, assignments, staffing etc and their major focus is the bottom line. This means that relevant paperwork must be collected and submitted to upper management on time, making employees accountable for completing their assignments. There is always some human interaction required, but usually for the purpose of achieving milestones within established deadlines, rather than for the purpose of relationship building.

Managers only invest enough of their emotional side into relationships, to get the job done. They usually don’t hesitate to fire people or to discipline employees who fall short of expectations, because they’re all about what’s best for the company – that’s their job. However, that’s not all their job has to be!

Leaders inspire and motivate

Leaders on the other hand, do more than just manage. They inspire and motivate too!

They may very well occupy management positions and it’s only the view of their role which is different. As well as the all-important bottom line, leaders incorporate consideration for human relationships into their management style. They are mindful of how their role impacts others and realise they are somewhat responsible for people’s livelihoods, thus taking a friendlier approach and adding more emotion and caring to their decisions.

Leaders will help the company reach the bottom line, but they also understand the value of inspiring and making an impact while doing so, which is why leaders may choose different means of achieving goals to managers with different operational styles.
Often leaders will invest as much time in work as employees do, as well as assign people to different tasks, perhaps with a mixture of repetition and variety, so they can stay motivated. Why? Because leadership is about getting people to understand and believe in the company’s vision and to want to work towards achieving that vision – inspiring action and motivating progress.

You CAN be both

Yes! You don’t have to choose just one. You most certainly can be both a Manager and a Leader in one.

In fact, leadership and management should go hand and hand. Imagine how much better business would be if everyone knew this?

They are not the same thing, but they are necessarily linked and complementary to one another.

Any effort to separate the two within an organisation is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

For any business to be successful, it needs management that can plan, organise and coordinate its staff, while also inspiring and motivating them to perform to the best of their ability, in line with the organisation’s vision.

Mindset can also have a powerful effect on the success of a leader and having the right person to help and guide you with your mindset can be the tool to your success.