Several times in discussions involving organizational hierarchy and task specificities, one question that always comes up is; “What is the difference between a leading and managing?” Does it even matter at all? Are leaders managers or are managers leaders?
Well, I think it does and I think that clarifying the difference between them might put things in perspective and help us see things differently in a clearer way. Some people prefer being leaders than being managers. I am not particularly sure why they have that idea but I think it stems from the general picture of what managers do. The job description seems a tad boring and overly stressful. However, I’d rather be both, with a few reasons.
You Manage Things, You Lead People!
Forget the job description and concentrate on the titles as verbs. Manage. Lead. Managers are known for upholding standards and the right methods and processes in an organization. They ensure that what works must be kept to at all times and they work to see that it is. For managers, the short-term goals and little details must be met. They maintain the system and ensure stability.
Leaders, however, are proponents of change, They are not as firm as managers. For a business or firm to survive, it needs to be headed somewhere. It needs to swiftly follow the trend to stay afloat. Leaders think long-term and decide the course of the whole system. They say, “it’s time for us to try something else that will work”, and the managers understand that and makes the system adapt to it.
I believe that leaders can and should be great managers at the same time. In fact, today, several companies and employers expect a leader to show proper managing abilities as well as being visionary. Hence, great management skills will give you an edge over your peers in the labour market.
But of course, levelling up on your managing skills will demand a lot of work from you. I’d say stick to it and in the end, you’ll be grateful you did!
Lead, but don’t forget to manage!