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The Differences Between Leadership and Management

Posted on 01/14/21 By Lorman Team

Leadership and management are both important skills to possess in order to succeed in business. And although the words are often used interchangeably, there are distinct differences between leadership vs. management skills.

In the workplace, management and leadership professionals possess qualities that complement each other. Leaders and managers are both set on reaching specific goals, but each has different responsibilities and challenges along the way. 

What is Leadership?

Leadership, by definition, is the art of motivating a group or team to work toward achieving a common goal. 

A leader is usually people-oriented. They provide valuable insight to their team and strive to inspire others to work hard. 

Leaders are organizers who spearhead projects and establish guidelines and strategies. They possess the necessary skills to adapt and make changes without upsetting the people involved. 

A good leader will also take the people they work with into consideration when setting goals. They listen to people when they establish priorities and guidelines and will motivate others to explore different ways to solve a problem or complete a project.

Important leadership skills include active listening, empathy, creativity, flexibility, and the ability to communicate clearly. 

What is Management?

Management is defined as a set of principles relating to the functions of planning, organizing, and directing, and the application of these concepts to achieve organizational goals. 

A manager ensures that all plans, rules, regulations, and guidelines for a project or initiative are followed. The job of a manager is to direct people and control the outcome of a project. 

The manager is responsible for coordination, control, and project planning. If a project has a time constraint, then the manager would be responsible for enforcing the deadline.

There are usually different levels of management within an organization, such top level managers, project managers, financial managers, and general managers.

Despite their varying job functions, all types of managers are responsible for controlling their respective groups in order to accomplish both long- and short-term goals. 

Common management skills include organization, delegation, strategic thinking, decision-making, communication, and problem solving. 

Why Leadership and Management are Important

All companies require both leaders and managers to complement each other's qualities and work toward organizational goals. Fostering leadership and management skills in the workplace will also help with employee succession.

Studies show that only 42% of critical roles can be filled quickly by internal candidates, proving that organizations currently lack strong leaders and managers. 

Similarly, more than 40% of managers who oversee three to five employees claim they have had no management training at all. 

Organizations implement leadership and management training programs to ensure they have the right people responsible for coordinating projects, inspiring others, and achieving success.

Leadership and management skills are vital to a successful workplace. However, these qualities need to be part of your organization's employee training program to ensure they are learned and implemented effectively. 



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