Leadership vs. Management: Striking the Perfect Balance

Ask employees at nearly any corporation in the country, and most will tell you the same thing: management is a bad word. While this isn’t always true, it is very easy to determine which managers understand the importance of leadership and the ones that don’t. Keep reading to see how you can find the perfect balance in your organization.

What Effective Managers Know

The most effective managers build relationships with their employees, develop them professionally, lead change within the company, inspire others, and think critically. They also communicate effectively and create accountability.

How do they do this? By understanding the importance of one-on-one meetings, genuine feedback, positive coaching, and appropriate task delegation. They also hold regular staff meetings and understand the importance of developing their people to meet personal and professional goals.

Maintaining a Balance

While having all of these qualities is essential, it’s also important to strike a balance between leadership and management. Too much of either one can lead to problems.

For example, a manager who is too focused on leadership may be unable to get things done and may find it challenging to make decisions. On the other hand, a manager who is too concentrated on management may become bogged down in the details and miss the big picture.

Where Can Management and Leadership Overlap?

There are a few areas where management and leadership can overlap. For example, it is possible for managers also to be good leaders—and vice versa. A few examples of areas where this is necessary include:

  • Engaging Employees: Managers who engage their employees are more likely to get them on board with company goals and objectives. Engagement can take many forms, such as regular one-on-one meetings, providing feedback, coaching, and delegating tasks.
  • Leading Change: Change is a constant in today’s business world. Managers who can lead change effectively can help their employees navigate these changes and succeed on the other side.
  • Communicating: Open communication is vital in both management and leadership. Managers must communicate effectively with their teams to accomplish tasks and meet goals. Leaders need to be able to share their vision for the company and inspire others to buy into it.
  • Creating Accountability: Both managers and leaders need to be able to create accountability within their teams. This means setting clear expectations, providing regular feedback, and following up on results.

Likewise, there are also a few areas where management and leadership may conflict. A few examples of this include:

  • Making Decisions: Leaders are often required to make decisions quickly, while managers may need to take more time to gather information and weigh all options before making a decision. This can be difficult if both roles are not clearly defined.
  • Taking Risks: Leaders often need to take risks to move the company forward, while managers may be more risk-averse to protect the company’s bottom line. This can be difficult if both roles are not clearly defined.
  • Inspiring Others: Leaders inspire others to buy into their vision and follow them. On the other hand, managers may need to focus more on getting tasks done and meeting deadlines. This can be difficult if both roles are not clearly defined.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that both leadership and management are essential in any organization. The key is to find a balance that works for you and your team.

Do you have a long-term development strategy for your managers to grow? If not, we can help. Contact us today to learn more.