There are plenty of articles and blog posts on the net about leadership and management. I have noticed a common trend amongst most of them. A lot of times when you see management talked about, it usually references the ways of dealing with and guiding people.
The term manager is sometimes talked about negatively, as if to demote a bad leader. We are also caught using the term “micro-manager” when referring to a leader that directs the every move of the people on his team and is more of a “boss” than a leader. What most get wrong is that leadership and management are somewhat similar, but they are both very different at the same time.
I too have found myself caught up in the leadership and management term trap. It took me a while to grasp the differences. It wasn’t until I applied some authentic thought into my communication that I noticed we need to make the differences clear, especially when it comes to conscious leadership. I also realized that in order for me to become a better leader, I must also be able to articulate clearly the differences to my team and help them understand how to apply the practices of each.
[box]”You manage things; you lead people.” – Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper[/box]
Both of these practices are essential to living a purposeful life and succeeding in business. Here are a few things to remember when trying to differentiate between the two.
1. You manage things; you lead people.
This is the best differentiator and is a clear line, which is drawn between the two.
Since people have a heart to feel, a mouth to communicate and the ability to respond, they must be led.
This can be confusing as well because leaders sometimes put themselves into the “hands on” type mindset when dealing with difficult people. While this may be the best course of action in many circumstances, all the common leadership practices are still the most effective and essential in those situations when dealing with them.
2. They complement each other.
A leader must also be a manager, and vice versa. While working on process improvement and procedural change, a manager must focus on leading the people that make these things work. On the other hand, a leader cannot focus solely on the people and ignore the processes.
3. Management is all about the head; leadership is all about the heart.
As Jim Clemmer explains it in the video linked below, management is all about the head, it is planning, analyses, controls, and systems. Leadership is intangible and deals with feelings, emotions, connectiveness, respect, and values.
Leaders can not and should not ignore the power in the potential of their team members. A strong focus should be placed on guiding and inspiring people and closely managing things so that those people can be the most efficient and successful.
Do you see yourself as both a leader and a manager?