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For any company to be successful, it needs to have a good person at the head of it. Whether that be through an inspiring CEO, effective team managers or just powerful personalities within the team. They need leaders.
But is management and leadership the same thing? Most people will assign leadership to a managerial role, but it’s not as simple as that. There are differences and similarities between leadership and management that make different people more suited to one or the other.
Not that one is not better than the other. Both are essential for an organisation to have productive and happy employees. The two should work hand in hand, complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s look at what separates leaders and managers and see exactly why strong leadership is powerful for employee wellbeing and productivity.
While the manager is commonly a job title to show a certain position, a leader may not have this distinction. A leader in the workplace can be anyone.
They’re followed and listened to because of their personality, behaviour and beliefs. One key way to differentiate the two is that managers have ‘subordinates’ and leaders have ‘followers.’
A lot of managers are also leaders, though only if they carry out functions that use leadership skills. Managing people is a different skill set to leading people.
Not all managers are leaders, however, and employees will follow orders from them because of obligation rather than inspiration. In certain environments, it’s acceptable for management responsibilities and effective leadership to be separated.
The ability to lead a team requires certain characteristics. While it is possible for a manager and leader to have overlapping traits, it is not essential. Here are some key traits:
Vision is one of the defining differences between managers and leaders. A leader will create the vision and inspire others to follow the vision. They’ll often have a manager who helps make this a reality with their skill set, or they’ll do both themselves.
To be able to inspire people and truly motivate them, they will need to have honesty and integrity. Mutual respect is essential to be able to have those belief in them and embark on a journey with them.
These two traits combined help them become inspirational. Leaders look to help others understand their roles in a bigger context or their vision.
To do this, they need strong communication skills. Being able to articulate the vision and the follower’s role in it is a vital part of the role. They need to keep everyone informed on the vision and any obstacles.
Having the ability to challenge the status quo or traditional ways of thinking is a true hallmark of an exceptional leader. To be innovative and have a unique vision, they need to challenge things and be daring with their problem-solving.
Having a strong leader in your team, whether this is in a position of authority or just a well-respected colleague, can have a massive boost on your employee engagement and wellbeing.
They have a tendency to praise success and drive people, whereas managers work to find faults. Leaders paint a picture of what they see as possible for the company and work to inspire and engage their people in turning that vision into reality.
Some key benefits a leader can bring to employees are:
Managers and leaders are both important—and when you find both qualities in the same person, it is the perfect combination for someone in senior positions to have.
To keep people at the company both motivated and productive, a workplace will need effective management and leadership. However, if you are looking at improving your employee’s wellbeing, an effective leader is the best way to do this.
All good managers are also leaders, though not all talented leaders make effective managers. It is worth looking at the skills of employees and putting them on courses to help develop leaders in the workplace.
With all this in place, you’re ready to start increasing your employee engagement. If you have questions about this or any of the topics covered in our blog, don’t hesitate to get in touch on 0844 891 0352.
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