When it comes to getting things done who wins in the game of management vs leadership? If you’re not sure, read on to find out.
Part of being a leader and/or a manager is the ability to get things done. And when we say get things done, we are of course referring to the team and the way in which it responds to its leaders and managers.
Although there are many areas where management and leadership overlap, there are also areas where differences can be observed. Getting things done is a classic example of this.
For a manager, getting things done can often be nothing more than informing the team of the day’s goals and objectives during the daily briefing. The manager will also guide the members of the team and help them to find the best way to achieve goals and objectives that have been set out. This is a very effective way to accomplish all the necessary tasks and to keep the team involved.
Leadership, however, can have a slightly different approach. It has been said before (partly in jest) that the difference between leadership and management is that managers say “Here’s what I want and this is how I want you to do it” and leaders say “Here’s what I want. Now go and show me some creativity”! The idea is that leaders paint a vision of what they desire and leave it up to the group to work out how to achieve the desired result. This is of course a little simplistic. Any leader who merely provides a vision and then has no input at all as to how that vision is turned into a reality is being at least a little foolhardy. There has to be involvement, even if it is kept to a minimum.
The true difference lies in the way a leader lays out the vision of what he or she is trying to achieve. The word “vision” here is used deliberately as a good leader will literally conjure up an image of how the end result will look. He or she can use tools such as pictures, photos, paintings, models or good old fashioned descriptive speech to pass on the concept of the end result to the group. He or she will not only pass that vision on, they will also pass on the level of enthusiasm that they feel towards the project or assignment.
This idea of creating a vision is something that can make a good leader stand out. But there is no reason why managers can’t use this technique from time to time. For everyday routine tasks a WHAT-WHERE-WHEN can be used but for certain projects that are going to need to be planned out and will take some time the idea of creating a vision in the minds of the employees and passing on that infectious enthusiasm will reap rewards.
Getting things done is a challenge that managers and leaders alike face on a day-to-day basis. Managers tend to orchestrate more while leaders tend to paint a picture and get the team to work towards it. There is no reason why mangers can’t utilise the qualities that make a good leader for longer projects and get the staff to show some creativity! Management vs leadership? A bit of both may well be in order…
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