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Understanding the Differences: Leadership vs. Management

Is a good manager automatically a good leader? What is the difference between leadership and management?

The main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them.

A successful business owner needs to be both a strong leader and manager to get their team on board to follow them towards their vision of success. Leadership is about getting people to understand and believe in your vision and to work with you to achieve your goals while managing is more about administering and making sure the day-to-day things are happening as they should.

While there are many traits that make up a strong leader, some of the key characteristics are:

  • Honesty & Integrity: are crucial to get your people to believe you and buy in to the journey you are taking them on
  • Vision: know where you are, where you want to go and enroll your team in charting a path for the future
  • Inspiration: inspire your team to be all they can by making sure they understand their role in the bigger picture
  • Ability to Challenge: do not be afraid to challenge the status quo, do things differently and have the courage to think outside the box
  • Communication Skills: keep your team informed of the journey, where you are, where you are heading and share any roadblocks you may encounter along the way

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Some of the common traits shared by strong managers are:

  • Being Able to Execute a Vision: take a strategic vision and break it down into a roadmap to be followed by the team
  • Ability to Direct: day-to-day work efforts, review resources needed and anticipate needs along the way
  • Process Management: establish work rules, processes, standards and operating procedures
  • People Focused: look after your people, their needs, listen to them and involve them

In order for you to engage your staff in providing the best service to your guests, clients or partners, you must enroll them in your vision and align their perceptions and behaviours. You need to get them excited about where you are taking them while making sure they know what’s in it for them. With smaller organizations, the challenge lies in making sure you are both leading your team as well as managing your day to day operation. Those who are able to do both, will create a competitive advantage. Are you both a leader and a manager; what would your staff say if you were to ask them?

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