Many people think leadership and management are the same. And just as often the words manage and lead are interchanged. But the reality is, they are very different things.
Both are important to bring value to a company or business. But when considering a career in the field, it’s important to understand what the difference between leadership and management is.
Lead people, manage things
The easiest way to distinguish between leadership and management is:
- we lead people.
- we manage things
Or at least we should. While the term “manage” is often used to talk about supervising employees, can we ever really “manage” people? Managing people implies control. And there aren’t many of us who function our best when being controlled.
Leadership is more about influencing, developing, coaching, guiding, or mentoring people. Leaders are more concerned with the vision and where the business is heading. They view motivation and inspiration as their main responsibilities.
Management is the control of things such as programs, budgets, contracts, projects and processes. Managers see it as their responsibility to get the job done as efficiently and effectively as possible. They improve processes, identify and solve problems and track the results.
And while we often say we manage people, the best outcomes are when people are led not managed. Likewise, great management is just as effective and beneficial to a business.
You can be both. Or just one.
Many people who work in management need to be both a leader and a manager, though not always.
Some leaders don’t directly supervise employees. And some managers don’t have authority over staff or a team.
Leadership and management don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can learn and develop your skills in both areas. Choosing a course that encompasses both can provide you with a great start and more employment options.
Not all managers make great leaders
Supervising employees doesn’t necessarily make a good leader. Unfortunately, most of us have probably had a supervisor or manager who doesn’t stack up. They take credit for work you’ve done, don’t appreciate your work. Or worse? They’re a control freak or micro manager.
The old saying “employees don’t quit their jobs, they quit their managers” is often all too true. But there are a few key considerations that can help change the culture of poor leadership.
- know there is a difference between leadership and management
- recognise which skills are needed for which job
- realise not all positions need both skill sets
- recruit accordingly
What makes a great leader?
Leaders tend to focus on developing circles of influence. While most managers have people who work directly for them, leaders have followers. And while many leaders will still have a ‘management’ title, their management style encourages performance and results from both the individual and the team.
So how do you tell a great leader? One of the best signals is if people outside their direct line of reporting come to them for advice and direction. If that’s happening chances are, they’re a great leader.
Yet more often than not, a manager and leader can be one in the same person.
What makes a good manager?
While it can sometimes seem like managers are the duller less dynamic version of a leader, good managers have a role to play too.
They need to have a particular set of skills to be successful in their role.
- strong organisational skills to balance their own workload as well as well as the responsibilities of the team
- excellent communication skills to be able to successfully manage different personality types within their team
- the ability to diffuse or resolve issues as they arise
- process focused to ensure peak productivity and optimum results
Good managers can often speak of tangible improvements in process and output.
Leadership and management go hand in hand
So now we understand leadership and management are not the same thing, they do need to co-exist. They need to complement one another.
Any business, regardless of size, needs management to plan, organise and coordinate. Plus to thrive it needs leadership that inspires and motivates its people to be the best they can possibly be.
The next generation of leaders and managers
As the leaders and managers of the next generation, understanding the difference each role plays and developing skills to match is important.
The great news is the future looks bright for those entering into leadership or management careers. But not as we currently know it. What you learn today, needs to set you up for the skills you’ll need into the future.
Traditionally leadership and management have followed a hierarchical structure. The higher up the ladder you go, the more control and influence. But as the business world becomes more volatile, fluid and fast-paced, leadership and management will need to be more decentralised.
Future leaders will foster cultures of excellence, innovation and collaboration. And they’ll need to build resilience within their team.
As less routine jobs become the norm, managers will need to be adaptable to change. They’ll oversee the transition of some roles from people to automation. And they’ll need to keep their employees on a path of learning to keep up.
Do you want to be a leader or a manager? Or both?
If you’re considering a career in leadership or management, our Diploma of Leadership and Management will help you understand where your interests and skills lie. And set you up for a career with a bright future.
Once you complete the diploma course the option is there for you to take your skills to the next level with the Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management.
Designed to accelerate your management and leadership career, it’s structured so you can fit study around other responsibilities such as work.
Monarch puts you on the right path
Monarch Institute’s courses are developed for the real world. With leading academics and industry associations contributing to the content, you get the quality you need for the best career opportunities. And our brilliant trainers work with corporate leaders to give our students the best outcomes.
We know our Diploma of Leadership and Management is relevant. And it’s accredited and recognised throughout Australia. But most importantly it’s geared to give you the best job prospects by providing you with the skills employers are looking for.
Get in touch today to chat about your online study options with Monarch.