There is a distinct difference between leadership and management that is often overlooked when working within groups in the workplace.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the definition of leadership is “the action of leading a group of people or an organization.” The definition of management is “the process of dealing with or controlling things or people.”
It’s easier to manage than it is to lead. Managers follow a systematic guide when implementing a team strategy. A formal title is attached to the person’s name and they delegate X, Y, and Z. The team becomes bound to a specific set of rules that they must follow in order to achieve a task or goal. Interactions with team members become very transactional, requiring less of an established relationship with individuals. Managers are usually the ones that are quick to blame team members when something goes wrong.
In managed groups, it’s extremely common for an emergent leader to arise. This is someone who rises to the occasion to make a substantial impact when a role isn’t being fulfilled. The emergent leader can be critical in providing direction and guiding vision for the rest of the team. Sometimes this person is unaware of even doing so if they don’t give themselves enough credit, which is a shame because all leaders should be recognized.
Leaders on the other hand… well… lead, and do so by example. To some extent, in a leadership role, you become a role model and example to the rest of your team. Individuals buy into an overall mission or goal instead of a specific system. It becomes understood that there’s not one way to achieve a task, giving team members a share of the voice. The share of voice creates more satisfaction for others at work, increasing retention rates for an organization.
I’m a strong believer in building relationships with your co-workers. This is something that can be attributed to a true leader. Not to say you have to be best friends with the people around you, but being able to connect on a somewhat deeper level can be beneficial in the long-run. It’s important to do things such as strike conversation about something outside of work, check on their well-being, remain open to their ideas, etc.
Leaders are the ones that will continue to drive success. Those will be the ones that create enjoyable company culture. They will be the ones to ultimately drive revenue because of the impact that they have on others. I challenge each and every person to become a leader in their own way, because we need more of them in today’s world.
This blog post was written by Account Executive Matthew Duddy.