Managing vs. Leading

We all know that a leader is a person who lights the way for others to follow. A leader inspires, encourages, and delivers big results. But, are you a leader or a manager? Well, how can you know if you have removed the management hat and put on the leadership crown? While a manager and a leader are often used synonymously with each other, the two are distinct in several different ways.

In this post, we present to you 6 key differences between leading and managing. They are the subtle cues that tell a leader from a manager.

1. Inspiration vs. Transformation

More often than not, a manager is in charge of transformation while a leader inspires change. In other words, leading is setting a direction and inspiring others to follow it as the process of following usually calls for some change. That’s where great leadership comes in handy. On the other hand, it is the responsibility of a manager to manage the implementation of the changes and see to it that company transformation goes on without a hitch.

2. Creativity vs. Job Descriptions

Leading calls for imagination and creativity, whereas managing requires following of specific or job description. To inform their vision and ideas, leaders have to leverage their imagination. It is creativity that allows great leaders to visualize things. Managers, on their side, have to understand the vision, mission, and key objectives of the business, and then drive those under them to perform specific tasks.

3. Vision vs. Tenacity

Generally, managing requires tenacity while leading calls for vision. As such, great leaders require clear-cut vision to steer a team or company towards success. On the same but a lighter note, a manager should the tenacity and willingness to do what it takes to realize the goals and objectives set by the leaders.

4. Articulation vs. Interpretation

Usually, great leaders have to articulate what’s needed for the business to succeed, while managers should have the ability to interpret the vision of the company. In other words, good leaders should have the ability to describe their goals and objectives in a clear manner so they can inspire others to pursue them. Of course, a great manager should be able to recast those goals in a way that employees can understand and work towards achieving them,

5. A Great Leader Recognizes Hard Work

It is a well known fact that workers want to be acknowledged by their employers and leaders. In fact, a recent survey revealed that there’s a direct relationship between the frequency of positive recognition and employee job satisfaction. With that said, a great leader goes above and beyond to ensure that employees are recognized for their hard work.

6. Leading Gives Room for Collaboration

While most managers are good decision makers, they often assign tasks without encouraging input from the employees. On the other hand, great leadership requires collaboration with other team members. It is for this reason that great leaders make employees feel that they influence important decisions and direction of the company. Of course, input from employees when it comes to tasks and decisions can have far-reaching benefits for the company.

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