To manage or lead… that is the big question. This is a guest post by Alex Williams.
Leadership and management are complementary and inseparable skills, but they cannot be used interchangeably. When promoted to a project manager, you don’t automatically become a leader. Every good leader must learn to manage both their teams and projects.
To Manage or Lead?
Here are some of the most significant differences between management and leadership.
1. Leaders Pull, Managers Push
Managing people is a task-oriented and highly rational process. It focuses on events, processes, and calculations. Managers focus on current setting and control situations to achieve or exceed certain short-term goals.
What Do Managers Do?
Managers resort to the “push” principle. They “allocate resources,” “estimate effort,” and “calculate durations” regularly. They assign tasks, provide necessary guidance, and monitor and assess their employees’ performance constantly. Most importantly, managers have authority over their employees and usually provide work direction.
Employees report progress to managers and, in turn, earn a salary for doing their job. Managers follow the “push” principle by pushing work, projects, etc. to their employees.
How do Leaders Lead?
Leadership, on the other hand, is people-oriented. Leaders are different from managers because of their high levels of emotional intelligence. Namely, good leaders don’t necessarily focus on their employees’ skills and performance. Instead, they focus on their behaviors, interests, and attitudes.
Apart from being authoritative, leaders inspire. They contextualize ideas and encourage team members to look at the big picture. Leaders also motivate people to follow their vision and become part of something bigger.
2. Leaders Innovate, Managers Use Proven Patterns
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,” ~Steve Jobs
While everything around them is working like clockwork, leaders seek a better way forward. They constantly seek learning and acquire new skills. Most importantly, they’re comfortable in their own shoes and stand their ground. They make difficult decisions even if they know they’ll be criticized. [Read more…] about To Manage Or Lead: That Is The Big Question