Leadership and management sometimes overlap, yet the two have their differences. While leadership generally involves the development of ideas and inspiring followers to rally behind those visions, management focuses on driving team members to execute set targets. Leaders and managers rely on employees to reach their ultimate goals within the modern organizational structure, making it crucial to know how to bring out the best in them.
Top organizations worldwide leverage brain-based coaching to transform potential into practical skills to drive growth and innovation. These result-oriented and goal-based approaches help managers and leaders perform at peak levels with minimal effort.
We’ll dive deeper into these areas, but before that, let’s cover the basics.
Leadership is a person’s ability to encourage, enable and influence others toward achieving a common goal. In other words, leadership involves an interpersonal process to inspire and motivate followers to execute an action willingly.
Leadership skills could be studied and learned. However, some people have natural inclinations and qualities that allow them to be excellent leaders. The world has witnessed several great leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. These personalities were all driven by the need to change the status quo and the vision to lead their people toward prosperity.
Leaders play an essential role in the success of organizations. They guide employees to work together as a team to achieve set objectives. The task also requires them to ensure the team is well-aligned, but they may reserve tactical decisions for another person or group — the managers.
Management involves the execution of a leader’s vision. Once leaders establish goals they want to achieve, they pass the baton to managers to oversee and implement a series of tactics designed to drive results. They allocate tasks while taking available resources into account and direct others on the team to perform optimally.
Within the organizational structure, managers plan and develop strategies to accomplish missions and ensure the smooth running of day-to-day operations. Typically, they are guided by established protocols and standards. Their role is to guide, direct and execute.
The four main differences between management and leadership are:
Managers and leaders play different roles in setting and executing a company’s mission and vision. Leaders are dreamers and big thinkers. Generally, they have clear visions of a desired destination but defer the birth and nurturing of those dreams to the managers. Managers often have more direct encounters with employees, aligning them with the company’s core values and goals.
Leaders can inspire people and persuade them to buy into their ideas. Managers have a different focus — execution. For managers, the goal of their strategies revolves around driving continuous improvement and positive working relationships. That way, they can succeed by optimizing their resources.
To drive success, managers may do two things. The first is to make the best use of human and material resources. This requires managers to increase productivity and efficiency and reduce costs. The second is to channel those resources to achieve the desired outcome. Although a manager may utilize resources effectively, the real value is achieving the ultimate goal.
Leaders may have the power to cause changes, but that’s not their primary role. The ability to direct and make critical decisions often rests with the manager. Leaders focus on creating circles of influence around their followers and allow managers to retain the power to guide team members under them.
The traits of a leader are different from that of a manager. Generally, leaders possess qualities such as excellent communication, empathy, virtuousness, passion, open-mindedness and creativity. To manage people under them, it would help if the manager is team-oriented and has the ability to control. Additionally, managers must be good communicators and dependable and have process management skills.
The similarities between management and leadership revolve around the following:
Brain-based coaching (BBC) is an approach rooted in neuroscience that leverages the latest insights into how the brain works to help leaders and managers perform optimally. It utilizes science to help leaders and managers facilitate positive change by working at an individual’s thinking level.
Here are some ways BBC can help improve leadership and managerial skills:
The NeuroLeadership Institute Programs for Individuals teaches business leaders and managers skills through a neuroscience-backed coaching program to help boost performance and results. Our hands-on brain-based coaching lets you put your coaching and conversation skills into action, while our Certificate in the Foundations of NeuroLeadership (CFN) dives into the relationship between leadership and neuroscience. We commit to helping you harness the brain's power and develop new insights into leadership and management.
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