Hey Super-trainers, here is nice blog post by Greg Justice…

While people tend to pair the words leadership and management together, they are two very separate concepts that compliment one another. It is important to understand the meaning of each word so that they can be used in tandem to create an individual who is able to be an effective leader as well as a good manager. By fusing these two very different aspects into one effective strategy, a person will be able to get more out a group of people than if they simply focused on being just a leader or manager.

A leader is a person who is capable of seeing a vision and carrying a group of people toward a common goal. Leaders focus on the people in the group and work and ensure that everyone is motivated and determined. People who are leaders take the time to motivate their team and strive to keep everyone involved in a positive mood. While a manager is more focused on rules and regulations that have already been established, a leader will challenge them if they are not a good fit for the individuals involved. A person who is a leader centers around the people that they work with and thinks about methods to getting those people performing at the best of their ability.

A manager is an individual who sees the goals ahead and is aware of what needs to be done in order to accomplish them. While a leader focuses on the people that are in the group, the manager determines what action needs to be taken in order to succeed. A manager is someone that can work with a group of people and assign tasks to individuals that can get the job done, while coaching those that are not doing their part. A manager will examine the facts and see what needs to be changed in order to meet the deadline or standards. Leaders will challenge rules that they think are not going to work for their group or tem while managers expect the team to be capable of meeting the standards regardless of who is on the team.

Communication is a very important aspect in leadership as well as management. However, how a person goes about communicating with their team can be handled very differently based on what the focus is on. Since leaders are more focused on the people that are on the team, they will see if there are any outside elements that are keeping an individual from performing their best. They will talk with the person to see if they have any ideas as to how a goal can be achieved and what steps need to be taken to do so. In the end, a leader wants to ensure that every team member is motivated and on-board with the project at hand.
A manager is more focused on getting the task completed and will talk with individuals to see what need to be done in order to meet the goal. Managers are more worried about getting tasks completed, and they will make necessary changes in order to keep productivity up. A manager knows when to switch roles for people and distribute tasks so that the entire team does not get weighed down if one person is not pulling their weight.

Creating the proper motivation within individuals can make working with a group much more productive and enjoyable. Leaders are always looking for ways to motivate their team and will create new incentives that help keep the team motivated. These may range from little competitions to giving out rewards to those that meet certain goals. Leaders know what the biggest element in keeping a team going is to ensure that everyone is motivated and that they want to see things through until the end. If the group’s morale is low, there is no chance that the goals will be met on time because there is no motivation from anyone on the team.

Managers will use looming deadlines as motivation for team members. They understand that things need to be done at a certain time and that failure will not be accepted. While managers may not take the time to see if overall morale is high, they will ensure that everyone is aware of their own tasks and what is expected of them. Teams led by managers are motivated by the fact that they know what they need to do and that others are counting on them to accomplish what has been given out to them. This type of motivation keeps the team focused and keeps them from getting distracted by other things that are going on around them.

Leaders are able to change or alter the direction of the team if they feel that it is a necessary adjustment. They understand that even though goals and objectives are set in front of them, that another group initially created them. As with anything that people make, goals can be changed or improved upon. If a leader discovers something that makes sense and improves upon what is expected of them, they will not hesitate to voice their opinion. Therefore, leaders do have a sense of direction as to where they are heading and what his expected of them, but they are also open enough to change or challenge that direction if they feel it is not the best for the group or the company itself.

On the other hand, managers are very set in their ways. They see the goal from the time they project is started and know what is expected of them as a result. They will not change course or think of alternative methods because they feel that results are what matter, not how they are achieved. Managers do not question standards or rules, regardless of how recently they were made, because they know that they are expected to carry out a certain duty and will see it through. If there are any problems as to where the team is headed, it is up to the manager to change the people involved, not what the expectations themselves are.

Like all other aspects, leadership is handled in two very different manners when it comes to managers and leaders. Leaders are constantly looking to improve on goals and help set new trends within the company and organization. They will challenge anything that they see as distracting and won’t be afraid to offer new suggestions in order to help the business grow. Because of these visions, leaders are focused on getting input from individuals and making the company a better place for everyone that works there.

Managers are focused on getting results and finishing on time. They are not going to waste time questioning what works and what doesn’t, but rather what needs to be done in order to make things work. People who are managers follow what has already been laid out for them as they believe that is the best practice. Since they are determined to meet the status quo, managers have a very different style when it comes to leading a group of people. While things may not change when a person who is a manager is in charge, they will always be able to get the job done on time.

Time management is handled very differently between leaders and managers because of what they prioritize. Leaders focus more on the people that are on the team, and will spend more time getting with each individual to obtain information and opinions on what needs to be done. People who are leaders will not have a problem setting time aside to discuss key issues that may be holding the team back or keeping them from being productive. If someone has a good idea as to what needs to be done, a leader wants to hear the concept so that future groups may benefit from it.

SbThe only meetings or gatherings that need to be constructed are in order to talk about people’s responsibilities and what needs to be done in order to finish on time. Managers will only pull people aside if it is absolutely necessary, as they are taking that person’s time when they could be working. In essence, managers will only pull people aside when they need to be coached or an issue needs to be addressed. Managers may also group everyone together in order to reorganize goals so that everything can be accomplished in a timely manner. Managers are focused on getting things done on time, and will manage their time accordingly.

Ethics can be tricky to define on any level, and how they are addressed in a group will vary largely based off of who is running the group. Leaders care about people and what is going on within the group, resulting in the fact that they will care more about the individual rather than what rules have been put into place. If a leader sees fit, they may make exceptions or bend the rules so that members are able to work comfortably or be more productive.

Managers know that rules have been put into place to maintain equal treatment for every person that works for the company. They will not make any exceptions to the rules, as that leads to favoritism and issues down the road with other coworkers. Regardless of what a manager believes or thinks is right, they will follow company policy as it has been laid out because that is what is supposed to be done. While a leader follows their heart to make decisions, a manager uses their head and knows that too many emotions can obstruct the productivity of the group and keep them from succeeding in the long run.

In the end, it is very important to take the time to understand how a manager functions and how a leader functions. While they are very different in how they handle or address issues, it is not beneficial to lean too close to one side over another. As important as it is to think about people and make adjustments to plans, too many adjustments can lead to groups falling behind schedule. Leaders must also be aware of the consequences that will follow if they create a special rule for one individual while they are working in a group. While thinking of people is nice in theory, a person must know when to follow the rules and when to say “no” in order to keep the group productive and so that the leader does, indeed, remain the leader of the group.

At the same time, managers may spend too much time focusing on the task at hand and not who is working for them. Managers who don’t think about the people in the group may miss key factors that are contributing to a person’s difficulty at the workplace. These may be issues that occur outside the home, but are brought into the workplace. A manager needs to understand how to address these issues so that they can be resolved and so that the person can go back to being a productive individual. There are times where adhering to the manual and rules will be more detrimental than if a manager simply sat down and talked with team.

The important thing is to find the right balance between manager and leader so that a person can be an effective manager and leader. There will be times when challenging the rules is a good thing, while others where it is simply beneficial to follow what has already been laid out. Following one’s heart is good when connecting with people, but it can lead to too many distractions which result in work not getting done on time. At the same time, if a person only focuses on the task at hand and not the hardworking people that are in the group, productivity can be low since there is no motivation to do well.

by Greg Justice, MA