You may ask, “What is the difference between leadership and management?” There is a huge difference between the two and that is why when someone is in a managerial position, he should not be quick to consider himself as a leader except he has the qualities and acts like one.
According to John Maxwell in one of his publications titled ‘The 360 Degree Leader’ he said, “Managers work with processes while leaders work with people. Both are necessary for organisations to run smoothly, but they have different function.” Without processes organisations won’t be able to function in a cohesive and coherent manner. There are procedures that must be followed, schedule that must be created, inventories that must be maintained. These processes cannot run themselves; there must be people to manage them. This is where the role of the leader becomes important. A leader leads the people who manage the processes.
Managing people can be very challenging, although it is possible. The position of a manager can never be visible if he only manages. A manager whose position is visible is one who has transcends the norm of just managing to leading people. So, we can say a good leader is also a manager. In the same Publication ‘The 360 Degree Leader’, John Maxwell said, “I have yet to meet a good leader who wasn’t also a good manager. They begin by managing themselves well. Once they do that well, they learn how to manage within their area of expertise. Then they add to that the skill needed to work with and influence others. They learn to understand the dynamics of leadership”
The challenge today is that some managers impose their decisions on others without using the affluence of their influence that comes through natural leadership. They parade themselves with all manner of titles attached to their names. They celebrate their mediocrity and authoritative nature of their subordinates. This they do ignorantly. Anyone who wants his leadership to go beyond managing processes should follow these insightful tips:
1. Leaders are people driven: Leaders are people driven while managers are only project driven. Leaders are concerned about the well fare of their followers. They know that it is the people that drive the process to make the project a success. But managers don’t care about how people feel they are only concerned about how their projects can succeed so they most times oppress their subordinates to achieve results. One of the characteristics of a manager is that they are authoritative, assertive and controlling. They want their views, opinion to be the accepted whether right or wrong. This is the simple reason the leadership of some men today are questioned in their marriages and in other areas. So ask yourself, “Are I a leader or a manager?”
2. Leaders think long-term: Unlike managers who think just for the moment, leaders are long-term oriented. When they are in charge of a project, they see beyond what is presented before them. They plan, strategize and work in line with achieving their long term vision against what they see happening at the moment. A man who doesn’t think long term is subject to making rash decisions or good ones that have only temporary positive effect.
3. Leaders push boundaries: Managers rely on rules to get processes going while leaders think outside the box to find new and simple ways to achieve a better result. Leaders aim to achieve new results, which means doing beyond what is expected of them or even a process.
4. Leaders invest power in others: Some said submission is power under control. This is the principle that leader uses. A leader invests power in others. He gives his followers space to express themselves. This is also a mentoring process, where the leader knows that he is fully represented even at his absence. Delegating authority gives the follower a sense of belonging and this often comes when a leader is genuinely concerned about the growth of his followers. A manager holds on to power because that is the only source of control over his followers. He is not concerned about the growth of his followers, but only on the success of his project.
5. Leaders are transformation agents: Leaders are transformation agents. They don’t follow the norm of a process that doesn’t yield results. Instead they improve the same process to yield extra-ordinary results. They are transformation agents and they see themselves as such. Someone said, “The people who achieved extra-ordinary result always believe that there was something inside of them that is greater than the challenges before them.” That is the position of a leader; he sees himself as a change agent.
6. Leaders emphasise on intangibles and rely on intuition: Managers emphasise on the tangible, which is what can be seen and measured. Leadership goes beyond the tangible to the intangible. It is more of the intangible like influence that controls the tangible (that which is known and measured.) They learn to work on the tangible by making use of their intuition. Their intuitions are not just based on feelings, but established principles that come as impulses when they are faced with challenging situations.
It is good to manage people, but better to lead them. Everyone wants a sense of belonging and you can make them feel secured only if you give them true leadership. If you want to influence others, then you must learn to lead.