In one of my last management roles, we didn’t refer to ourselves as ” Managers”. We called ourselves “Leaders”. We lead our teams through inspiration, to the best of our ability, to meet our desired goals. In my early years in management, if someone asked if I was a leader or a follower, I always answered as identifying as a leader because I was a manager; I never put together that they were separate things What I have come to learn since those times, is that managing and leading are two different things that go hand in hand and not everyone in those respected roles is going to be good at both- that point can be saved for a future post.
Management and leadership are often misconstrued as being the same thing. The most basic difference between management and leadership is that a manager manages business activities and has a staff working for them while a leader leads a team of people who are looking up to them and following their example.
Leadership requires the ability to inspire a group of people to see a bigger picture. A leader has traits about them that promotes innovation, motivates teams, and pushes individuals to want to do and be better. Leaders create environments where everyone wants to work together to achieve their common business goals. There is a level of trust among colleagues and they know their opinion matters.
Management, on the other hand, is very cut and dry. There is no real motivation or incentive for employees. Staff members are expected to complete their tasks promptly with few questions to be asked. There is a plan to be followed and results to be seen. A manager may be good at achieving results and devising plans of execution but the approach is very one note. Managers are not ” people” minded. Their job is to remain in control while delegating directions.
In my own personal experience, I’ve had times where I found myself wearing both hats. There is a time and a place for everything. It’s a hard balancing act when you are managing anywhere between 10-50 people at a time. As a business manager and team leader, you may not always have the best approach. Sometimes what could or should have been a moment to provide inspiration comes out raw or insensitive. There is always the opportunity to redeem yourself if you find yourself in that situation. As a leader, you cannot be afraid of failure and trying again. Other times, you know there is energy pumping through the room, you and your team are on a roll, and it’s a beautiful moment. Those moments are what you need to thrive on in order to be a good leader and keep inspiration and motivation flowing because as we all know in business, the tides are ever changing.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, not everyone will be good at wearing both hats, or even one of them! Stay tuned for my next article on the different management styles and how to create good management habits.
Happy Hump Day!