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All You Need To Know About Managing Vs Leading

Updated: Dec 1, 2021

Leading and managing within the workplace serves a critical role in the success of any organization. Being able to define, differentiate and learn how and when to use it will be key. There is no one size fits all when it comes to leading and managing employees in an organization, this is why understanding your team and this information will be helpful to strategically use this in the most appropriate situations.

What is leadership?

Leadership is the ability to inspire your team to achieve a common goal. A great leader has the ability to influence, inspire and impact others. In our recent article, you will find more details on our top definition and the Ultimate Qualities of a Great Leader.

What is management?

Management is the process of controlling, directing or dealing with situations, things or people. These may include coordinating, organizing and planning to ensure that a specific outcome is achieved. Managing situations or teams involves assessing and measuring results, productivity and other KPIs to make the necessary improvements.

What is the difference between leadership and management?

Although both leadership and management are equally important, understanding their differences and when to properly use them will be key. Here are some of the most significant differences

Leadership Management

mission-based (purpose) task-based (methods)

creativity & innovation systems and rules

inspiring people directing people

optimizing teams optimizing process

qualitative quantitative

intangible results tangible results

creating value counting value

focus on principles & importance focus on practices & urgency

effectiveness efficiency

top line bottom line

When to manage and when to lead your team?

Understanding when to manage and when to lead appropriately can help you create a cohesive team that performs and excels in their careers. Here are examples:

Lead Manage

Employees are performing efficiently Training new team member

You can trust your team to do tasks Delegating important task

Introducing new approach to workplace Completing work on a deadline

During creative discussions Situation requires specific results

Bring out the best in your employees Ensure Job is done

Leaders vs Managers, which is better?

Some circumstances may require a manager, while others require a leader, and sometimes a situation requires both. Leaders are able to empower and inspire the team to a desired goal, but without a manager directing them on important tasks, they are unlikely to reach it.

When you are able to inspire and influence a team to reach a common goal and are able to empower them to make the right decisions, managing your team becomes easier. When your team are engaged, you can implement changes more efficiently and improve the outcomes.

Discovering how your team responds to leadership and management in various situations by paying attention to their behaviours and measuring key performance will guide you on how you will alter and improve strategies for better team and results.

Leaders inspire excellence because they provide the necessary support for the collective competence, confidence and compassion that drives action and commitment from the team. While managers are necessary, leaders are indispensable.

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