Though the difference between leadership and management may be subtle, there are actually many important distinctions between these two types of guidance. In the workplace, managers may or may not be gifted as leaders however, those managers who possess leadership skills are able to get much more out of the workforce than those without such skills. Though many managers are not naturally gifted at leadership, they can learn skills that can help them transcend the definitions of management in order to become effective leaders of people.
Managers in the workforce do not always get to the position by expressing a desire to lead. Frequently, people are hired to manage because they have experience at a particular job. Unfortunately, experience does not always translate into an ability to lead. These people may be adequate at managing the individuals under their command, but they are often unable to inspire the employees to go beyond the minimum effort required for the job. A leader, on the other hand, will be able to motivate the workforce to perform at a level higher than what would typically be expected from a manager. This is because leaders in management love what they do, and they are motivated by factors which go beyond getting a paycheck.
The desire to lead, even when the skills do not exist naturally, is key to becoming something more than a manager. A person has to have an interest in the big picture as well as the long-term goals of the organization for which they work in order to lead effectively. An individual must also be able to see how small details come together to paint that big picture. Those managers who simply want to get the job done are valuable, but it takes leadership to move an organization forward in a meaningful way. If a person lacks the desire to become a leader who values an organization’s success as much as his or her own, that individual will likely never rise to a level of true leadership.
Managers who have a true desire to lead without the natural abilities to do so need to understand that it takes some work to become an effective leader. The first step is to evaluate oneself. Contrary to popular belief, great leaders can come from all different personality types. Some people are great at giving speeches, while others are better at using words more minimally in the interest of letting actions speak for themselves. A person needs to understand what type of leadership will suit them best based on personality. Being true to oneself is something that people respect regardless of whether they disagree with the manner in which they are being led or not. Once a manager has completed a self-evaluation to determine how he or she will best lead others, this person can then begin to hone the techniques necessary to transition into true leadership from basic management.
The difference between leadership and management is one that can make or break an organization. Not every manager can be a gifted leader, but those who have the desire to lead can inspire a workforce to go beyond the minimum expectations of a job. Though it is commonly believed that leaders are born and not made, this assumption has been proven wrong time and time again by managers who have had a true desire to lead their organizations forward successfully.