John sat in the interview feeling prepared, confident and excited. He had just spoken about how he would approach the position strategically and more so his commitment to not just being a manager but to also being a great leader to his team. The interviewer turned to John and asked,
“What is the difference between a leader and a manager?”
John hesitated. He knew there was a difference because in a weird way he felt the difference. He had even experienced the difference but how was he going to articulate this….
Some form of leadership and management is required in every organization to ensure that the organization’s systems are controlled and that strategic goals are not only articulated but achieved. The ‘and/or’ debate is one that reigns supreme in the attempt to understand what makes an organization effective and run successfully. These terms are not mutually exclusive and are equally important in achieving organizational effectiveness.
Management vs. Leadership
Management is often defined in terms of control. A manager spends much of their time maintaining, administrating, directing and doing things right. There is no doubt that it is an imperative role as it is creates a sense of responsibility within the organization.
Leadership is often defined in terms of motivation and inspiration. A leader empowers their team to be better able to adapt to a changing environment. A leader often believes that there is not necessarily a right way of reaching a goal, and it is actually often more effective to allow their team to find their own way. A leader chooses to empower their team and inspires them to believe that they are capable and play a significant role in achieving the vision.
Leadership: 2 truths and 1 lie
Truth: In order to be a leader you must have people that want to follow you. Without followers there are no leaders. Followers are different from subordinates in that followers are motivated, inspired, energized and demonstrate commitment to a common goal.
Truth: Leadership can be taught.
It is not inborn or available to only the select few who are both charismatic and extroverted. It is a skill set that can be learned and developed.
Lie: Leadership is only available to those in senior positions.
We all have the ability to lead from where we stand, to influence those around us and to encourage engagement and collaboration.
Leadership in Action- Key Questions Leaders Ask
- What is my commitment to the growth of each member of my team?
- What are the shifting needs of the organization?
- How am I ensuring that my team is collaborating and aligned?
- Are the right people in the right positions and when appropriate are these positions of influence?
There is no doubt that both management and leadership are equally important in achieving an effectively run organization. It is clear that a person can have strengths in each of these areas; however, effectiveness within the organization is best achieved when a person has skills in both areas and is able to know which skill is best for the situation at hand.
Salopek & Associates has helped many businesses recognize their managers unique abilities and develop management and leadership skills to better manage their people. If you are interested in having Salopek come in for a training session, contact us, we are just a phone call away 🙂