Many people think that leadership roles are very similar to those of management, and in some ways this is right. However there is a key difference between leadership and management, which makes the leading job more of a challenge.
Managers have a position senior to the people they manage. This means that they have the power of authority, and the people below them have an obligation to do as they ask. The main goal of managers is to get the work done, so the focis is on the task – planning, control, etc…
Leaders may be in charge of a group that does not report to them. In this case they do not have the power of authority of a manager. When this happens the leader has to rely on his/her influencing skills to get people to do what he or she wants. The focus is on inter-personal skills.
You may think this distinction is too simplistic, and of course it is. Good managers need to incoroporate leadership into thier role. It’s usually not appropriate to tell people what to do – they need to be influenced.
Similarly, leaders also have to manage the work of the team so they have to set goals, plan the work etc…
The difference is one of emphasis, although another way to look at this more simply, is looking at Russell H Ewings words below:
A boss creates fear, a leader confidence
A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes
A boss knows all, a leader asks questions
A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting
A boss is interested in himself or herself, a leader is interested in the group
Elearn offers a range of self-study courses that are designed to develop you and help you make an impact at work and enhance your career. We offer CMI and ILM levels 2-7 in Leadership, Management and Coaching.