Sunday, September 27, 2015

What're Fundamental Differences between Leadership and Management?

A fundamental purpose of leadership is to provide vision and empower change.

Leadership is all about future, about change, about progress and innovation. The defining difference between a manager and a leader is why people follow them and does their reach of influence towards a common objective extend past the limits of their authority? Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. Such leadership/ management comparison is not to oversimplify the purpose, role and function of each, but to gain profound understanding on how to lead and manage in more effective way.

A fundamental purpose of leadership is to provide vision and empower change while a fundamental goal of a manager is to oversee the tasks and execution. Some great managers do lead well and leaders manage well, but many do not have both skillsets. The goal is to have more talent people that are fluent in both skillsets, they are not mutually exclusive. Leaders inspire, provide vision, and direction while managers work towards change and evolution of the employee. A leader is anyone who influences other to effective action.  A manager optimizes the use of resource, designs and implements processes. Great Leaders not only have great vision but are realistic towards making it happen through a great manager to compliment the execution process. You also need a great manager that understand the vision's prime directive and capable of ensuring a smooth transition during the execution phase towards the successful completion of the vision, otherwise, it would fail in making it happen.

Good leadership is about doing the right things, and good management is about doing things right. A successful leader knows the difference between management and leadership is more than semantics. Leaders use influence to motivate and inspire others to follow and support them as they move the organization beyond its comfort zone. Challenging beliefs, ideas and strategies along with accepted ways of doing things are all hallmarks of leadership. Leaders hold a long-range view. Good leadership is about doing the right things. Leaders are the visionaries moving forward for growth, inspiring the masses for a common goal with innovative moves toward the future. Managers are the implementers, taking the visions of the leaders and implementing the actions to actually make the visions become realities.

Leaders set principles, open for criticism, and take the risk for innovation. Managers follow the rule, control the risks, and improve efficiency. A good leader is a confident person who will welcome debate and do their utmost to understand and embrace another viewpoint. Being a leader can on occasion feel isolating, however by following your instinct you will more often than not turn the situation around and produce a positive outcome. Leaders invite debates and challenges from employees for innovative ideas. The problem is that if the manager is stuck in the day to day activities and remain happy with compliance, then there is no room for creativity to do better than expected. If we don't take risks, try new methods and challenge the traditional method and follow agile leadership, and then task gets boring and not effective.

Everything which is wrong with organizations is the mixing up of these two concepts-leadership and management, they are highly complementary strengths for organizational success. At the end of the day, it all comes down to how we manage and lead ourselves with the support of peers, side-by-side, not top to bottom! Top to bottom leadership and management discourages self-management and self-leadership. If we see everyone as capable of managing and leading themselves, we are less likely to jump into 'rescue' or 'command', but use our own humanity and humility to question, learn, mentor and work together!


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