Leadership vs Management

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Leadership and management are two commonly used terms in the business world with many mistaking them to be one. Very often, people in business organizations presume a good leader for a good manager. Little do they know that they both are not the same and can not be the same. A good leader can be a good manager but a good manager necessarily need not be a good leader. One needs a clear understanding of who a leader is and who a manager is and also make out the difference between leadership and management.

A leader is someone who leads or commands a group or organization. The activity of leading a group of people or an organization or the ability to do this is leadership. A manager is someone whose job is to organize and control the work of a business or organization or a part of it. The process of dealing with or controlling things or people is management. The main difference between leadership and management is that a leader can be anyone. He does not have to be the person who holds a position in an organization. The characteristics that a manager and a leader share are similar, yet they both are different.

Leadership involves establishing a clear vision and sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly. A leader strives for the vision to come to pass and also provides the information, knowledge, and methods to help others(team/organization that follow him/his vision) to realize that vision. Apart from being visionary, the other important attribute of a leader is handling a conflict. He always engages himself in an influential interaction with the team members and makes sure a strong and positive relationship is built in between the duo. He coordinates and balances the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders in a constructive approach. A leader steps up in times of crisis to lead from the front and is able to think and act creatively in difficult situations.

Management involves building a strategic vision and the ability to execute it. He formulates and enforces the policies of a business and does what is needed to achieve the plan and the goals. Unlike leader who establishes principles, a manager establishes rules, procedures and processes to execute the plans. While leaders empower, motivate and mentor their team to achieve the goals, managers unlikely direct and monitor their team to achieve them. Managers are short-term focused and they pay a keen attention to the problems, details from the team as they are responsible to make decisions concerning those issues.

The major attribute that distinguishes management from leadership is that management can be taught, whereas leadership, may be learned and enhanced through coaching or mentoring. A leader always has the charm of inspiring, motivating and influencing his subordinates to perform and engage them in achieving a goal. Managers, on the other hand, control people or the group to accomplish a goal. Both managers and leaders are important for any organization. Having someone who is both a manager and a leader is an added advantage to the team and organization, whose significant contributions can attribute to the success of the organization.

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