The professional world is full of job positions and responsibilities shared and managed by these position holders.
Sometimes, the difference between these profiles gets blurred because of the similarities in the responsibilities that these profiles carry. Two of the most common job profiles that cause confusion are Leadership and Management.
There have been several cases where one has asked what the actual difference between leadership and management is.
Frankly speaking, today, there is little difference between the two. But, the little difference is so great that it plays a very important role in the corporate world.
This article is part 2 of the series: management vs. leadership.
Refer to article no. 1 – What is the Difference between Management and Leadership?
Here are some of the differences between a manager and a leader:
One of the major differences between a leadership scenario and a management scenario is the aspect of seniority and hierarchy. In the leadership scenario, the leader will always occupy a higher position and will be more experienced than his or her team members, simply because the person has to ‘lead’ the team. Whereas, when it comes to managing a team, it is not a hard and fast rule that the person ‘managing’ the team should hold a higher post than the other team members. Sometimes, a position can be termed as a ‘team manager’ on the basis of seniority.
Basically, the leader is the one who takes the leads and has the deciding power. Many a time, a manager would spend most of his/her time liaising in department or between two departments.
Because the leader has a deciding power, he or she will be more involved in any project than the manager. A manager may be delegated work through the hierarchy, and that assignment could be simply delegated to the team, whereas there can be cases where the leader would be the first to initiate and move the project ahead. Sometimes, it so happens that the leader initiates the project and the manager strives to maintain and enhance the project, bringing it to a positive and logical outcome.
The real difference between a manager and a leader can be seen during a crisis. During a crisis, the manager is bound to take the tried and tested way and solve the crisis by “default”, whereas a leader tries to devise a solution, thereby taking his or her problem solving capabilities to the next level.
Charismatic Leadership, Forceful Management:
Additionally, the leaders have several traits and aspects that distinguish them from the managers. Leaders have charisma and an easy-going attitude that makes the people who work with them feel at ease and even perform better than they would normally. On the other hand, a manager is more focused on systems and infrastructure.
The leader is a people’s person and is more focused on his or her team.
In a nutshell, it can be said that the leader is the idea creator of any concept, and the manager is the executor of the idea, who is responsible for bringing it to a logical and profitable conclusion.
There are several other aspects that differentiate a manager from a leader. However, one should understand that both these profiles are very crucial to an organization’s smooth operation.