Balancing the Line Between Manager and Leader

Posted by Melissa Meunier on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:05 AM

balance, employee management, leadership, guidance

Do you ever feel like your day never ends and there is a list of things to do? If you answered yes, then join the hundreds of managers and supervisors whose typical day means completing a list of tasks or projects. However, to get those task completed effectively requires a unique style of management and leadership skills. Those skills that not only get you to manage the list, but allow you to nurture the employees, develop their talent and inspire results. 

Taking a team from ordinary to extraordinary will not happen overnight. While a manager’s role is to plan, organize and coordinate, a leader’s role is to inspire and motivate by elevating the teams’ strengths and use their knowledge to complete the task.

  • Managers  - follow direction, transact on a task and make sure it is completed, as directed.  Strong management skills include planning, organizing and providing structure to a team.  By focusing on the daily task it can distract them from the bigger picture.
  • Leaders  - focus on guiding people with inspiration and motivation to reach the end result.  Leadership draws the best out of a team by leveraging their strengths and developing their weaknesses by challenging individuals along the way. 

In today’s economy, human capital is driving the success of many businesses. Employees are not just doing a single job; they are doing the jobs of many.  The “knowledge worker” is shifting the way business is organized and how they are being developed.  Employees, especially Millennials, no longer want to be ‘managed’ - they want to be led.  They want to know where they fit in the process, what contributions they can make and how they can grow.

While the role of being managed may never go away, how people are managed is evolving. Knowing there is a clear distinction between managing people and leading them, and how to balance both is critical. Without both skills, the end result may not be a positive one.

To truly measure the effectiveness of both management and leadership is to know when to use them interchangeably to get results. When you combine them, you have a force to be reckoned with.  A person that knows what needs to get done and can rally a group of people to influence the outcome.


Topics: Leadership Skills

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