Leadership vs. Management

Approaches to running a business are constantly changing and evolving. In the past, management used to be focussed on giving out orders to workers and ensuring that the demands were followed. Many businesses allowed little variation from these orders by their staff. However, in many current day businesses, this is a practice that has changed significantly.

In the modern day business environment, many management teams prioritise leadership over management. This has become apparent to me in my time working in different industries, retail and accounting, through observing organisations going through periods of change to ensure their business remained competitive and profitable. In a lot of successful businesses, staff are one of the biggest drivers, and the ability to identify the most suitable method of management is more important than ever.

Before we can select the most appropriate management approach, we need to first ensure we know the differences between a leader and a manager.

Leaders motivate their staff by setting goals and directions. They are likely to involve their staff with decisions and challenge them in a way that encourages them to work towards both their personal goals and the goals of the business. Managers, on the other hand, organise and direct their staff to achieve goals. They are more likely to strictly follow specific rules or standards and limit the amount of variation from guidelines by the staff they are managing.

There is no one correct approach, as leading and managing can both be beneficial in the right business, while dealing with the right staff. Many managers use some combination of the two methods; within the same business they may allow a lot of responsibility and lead their staff through one task, while strictly managing another task. Ultimately, the decision comes back to the management team – which approach is best for your business?

Posted on July 14, 2016 .