Advertising
Advertising

Leadership vs Management: Is One Better Than the Other?

Leadership vs Management: Is One Better Than the Other?

Being an excellent manager doesn’t make someone a strong leader. We’ve all run into someone who uses the titles interchangeably, and it can be frustrating.

Knowing the difference leadership vs management helps you understand your role in your organization. By recognizing the difference, you can sharpen your abilities so that you can reach your fullest potential. Knowing what separates managers and leaders can also help you figure out how to achieve the best balance of leadership and management qualities.

In this article, I will explore the similarities and differences between leaders and managers, and help you figure out how to get the best of both worlds.

What are leadership and management?

What is leadership?

A leader’s power comes from their ability to get buy-in from others. They use their influence to challenge norms and guide innovation. As Drucker implies, leaders sometimes bend the rules to spur change. Peter Drucker aptly puts it:[1]

“The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers. To gain followers requires influence but doesn’t exclude the lack of integrity in achieving this.”

What is management?

Managers ensure that employees conform to standards and adhere to policies. They make sure that the goals of their leaders are carried out. They are capable and responsible, but their contribution to organizations is strictly by-the book.[2]

Managers are the people to whom this management task is assigned, and it is generally thought that they achieve the desired goals through the key functions of planning and budgeting, organizing and staffing, problem solving and controlling.

Leadership vs Management

Leadership and management have different characteristics and have different focuses. Here are 9 main differences between leadership and management illustrated with examples:

Advertising

    1. Focus on goals and vision vs. Focus on tasks

    Leaders are oriented toward their company’s vision and goals. They look at the big picture and come up with new ways to actualize their vision.[3] When leaders try new things, they always tie their ideas back to the company’s mission.

    Managers are task-masters. While they may care about an organization’s vision, their job is to stick to policy. Managers carry out the big ideas for their organization’s leaders.

    2. Sell it vs. Tell it

    Since leaders are always on the cusp of innovation, they have to convince others that their ideas are worthwhile. Remember, they gain their authority by encouraging others to buy into their line of thinking.

    On the other hand, managers don’t have to sell an idea because their role is to enforce policies. If someone steps out of line, they can fall back on procedures. Employees do as their managers tell them.

    3. Take risks vs. Minimize risks

    Anytime you try something new, you must take a risk. Leaders take risks by default because they often push for change.

    Managers are put in place to keep risks to a minimum. They make sure that workers are doing what they’re supposed to do in the manner the company tells them to. When problems arise, a manager may take the problem to leadership to amend policies.

    4. Encourage vs. Instruct

    The lines between management and leadership blur here depending on how the manager approaches their duties. Ultimately, leaders offer encouragement to employees to think outside the box and see the big picture.

    Advertising

    Managers usually have clear guidelines about different aspects of their workplace. They may provide encouragement, but their main job is to tell you how things are supposed to be done. They’re the person you turn to when you want to figure out the best way to do your job.

    5. Go against the grain vs. Go with the flow

    Leaders need to challenge the status quo or else their organization risks stagnation.[4] They try new things to see if they can be more effective. They work to align company policies with the company’s vision.

    Managers, on the other hand, maintain the status quo. They’re doing their best work when they are enforcing the guidelines set out by the leaders.

    6. Motivate vs. Approve

    When you try new things, your risk of failing increases. Leaders must be motivated, and they’re great at keeping others motivated. They tie everything they do back to the company’s vision. When a company has a strong vision, a leader can use it as a rallying point for inspiring employees.

    When you’re managing people, your main objective is to decide if something passes muster. Managers look at their subordinates’ actions and determine whether they meet the standards set out by the company.

    7. Break the rules vs. Follow the rules

    Leaders have to play fast and loose with the rules to get ahead. Rules are often too rigid to allow for innovation, which means that leaders frequently bend them. When a company or organization is badly broken, leaders may disregard the rules entirely.

    If a manager wants to keep their job, they stick to the strategies set out by superiors. Bending and breaking the rules undermines their position, which can weaken the company.

    8. Inspire trust vs. Expect control

    When someone is guiding you through uncharted territory, you must have a certain level of trust in them. A strong leader is excellent at inspiring trust to take people to places they’ve never been.

    Advertising

    Managers’ authority rests in their ability to have control outright. You don’t have to like or trust your manager to do what you’re told. Managers expect and need control to do their job well.

    9. Foster ideas vs. Assign tasks

    Leaders thrive on making improvements by trying new things. They foster new ideas and free thinking because this supports their aims. They know that if they can encourage more people to think outside the box, the collective brainpower of the group will drive more innovation.

    Managers can’t encourage free thinking because they wouldn’t be able to fulfill company expectations. Telling people what to do is the only way they can ensure that employees will do what they’re supposed to in the way they’re supposed to do it.

    Is leadership better than management (or vice versa)?

    As you may have noted, there are some stark differences between leaders and managers, but leadership and management are complementary. This video will explain to you why leadership and management go hand-in-hand:

    Leaders are risk-taking, innovating, game-changers. Managers are by-the-book maintainers of the status quo. That doesn’t mean that it’s better to be one or the other.

    Companies need managers and leaders to run smoothly. A lack of management puts organizations at risk for falling out of compliance and not meeting goals. A lack of leadership leads to a stagnant and uninspired workforce.

    Leaders and managers may exist at opposite ends of a spectrum when it comes to authority, but they’re on the same team. A leader can have a grand vision, but without managers to carry it out, the vision won’t be realized. Managers have to adhere to standards, but if they aren’t inspired by leadership, they won’t be able to share their vision with the workforce.

    Strike the balance between leadership and management

    There’s a happy medium between leadership and management. In some cases, you do need someone to perform as strictly one or the other. The best authority figures know when to apply leadership and management to greater and lesser degrees.

    Advertising

    When to use leadership skills

    The degree to which you’re able to use leadership skills depends on your workforce and your company’s way of operating. If your members are clear about the team’s vision and goals, they’re more likely to be inspired by a leader.

    For an authority figure to lean more toward leadership, they need to be able to trust that workers are already fully aware of and compliant with company policies. If you constantly have to babysit your team members to perform basic tasks, it’s going to be difficult to encourage free thinking.

    When a team is made up of dedicated individuals who understand their roles, you have more leeway. They’ll be able to handle innovation and creativity while keeping up with their responsibilities. When a leader can enter into a dialogue with workers about company policies, they can come up with new ideas together.

    When to take on the role of a manager

    When you’re new on the job, you need somebody to tell you how things should be done. Managers are an absolute necessity when your team members are new. They can help workers figure out how to do their jobs in the most efficient way possible.

    Managers are also excellent at figuring out how much employees are capable of. They know that giving them too many responsibilities can have a negative impact on their performance and morale. They safeguard employee productivity by understanding how each person works and responds to stress.

    Organizations always need managers to help employees with uncertainties that they may have about their work. The manager is the person who can show you where to find a procedure in the handbook. They take the mystery out of the work so that employees can meet company expectations.

    Organizations need managers and leaders to reach their full potential. You can’t have one without the other. Running a company made only of leaders would be like herding cats. Having managers run the show means that you’ll get a lot done, but you’ll never get better.

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Leon Ho

    Founder & CEO of Lifehack

    10 Huge Differences Between a Boss And a Leader How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever How To Set Goals Effectively And Grow Continuously Prioritization of Task: 7 Methods to Become a Pro

    Trending in Smartcut

    1 Best 10 Keyboards Under $90 on Amazon 2 Why Perspective Taking Is an Essential Skill for Success 3 How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success 4 Why You Need to Set Future Goals (And How to Reach Them) 5 How to Swiftly Make a Midlife Career Change

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Published on June 5, 2020

    Best 10 Keyboards Under $90 on Amazon

    Best 10 Keyboards Under $90 on Amazon

    There are different reasons why you might need to buy an extra keyboard. Your keyboard may be wearing out and one can only imagine the frustration you get each time you type ‘O’ when you actually wanted to type ‘P’.

    Apart from your keyboard wearing out, desiring more comfort and flexibility and reducing pain in your wrists and fingers as you type might be your main reason. You may also want to maintain the recommended minimum distance of 40cm away from the screen[1] or just want to have some additional functionalities on your keyboard which are not available on most keyboards.

    Whatever the reason, we all want to have the best keyboard that will suit our needs.

    Here are the 10 best keyboards under $99 available on Amazon. They were picked based on their ergonomic design and extra functionalities.

    Why You Should Trust Us

    We checked Amazon to find the keyboards that have multiple functionalities, promises comfort, have received several reviews, and rated at least 4-star from real users. At a price below $100, we believe that you can find the best keyboard for you on this list.

    1. Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo

    4.3-star, 8950 Reviews

      The Logitech MK 550 keyboard has a constant curve layout and integrated palm rest to reduce stress, eliminate lower wrist fatigue, and help you type more naturally.

      If you want something that allows easy navigation, then this might be the best keyboard for you. It has 18 programmable keys that you will find pretty useful if you frequently use apps that require rapid navigation.

      It also has an accompanying precision laser mouse that makes screen navigation much easier and faster than using your touchpad.

      One of the things that set this keyboard apart from the rest is its long battery life. You can continue to use your keyboard and mouse for 2 years without thinking of changing the battery; the keyboard’s battery can even last up to three years.

      If you are a programmer, secretary, writer, or you do something that requires typing a lot, this is a product you might want to consider.

      Pros:

      • Long battery life
      • A combination of keyboard and mouse
      • Wireless keyboard
      • Integrated palm rest to reduce wrist fatigue

      Cons:

      • Only compatible with Windows-based PC. Additional set up might be required to use with Mac or Linux.
      • The keyboard can be a little noisy when typing

      You can buy this from Amazon for $46.99.

      2. Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Wired Keyboard 4000 for Business

      4.3-star, 5388 reviews

      Advertising

        This is an ergonomic keyboard with a cord (about 6ft long). It has a comfortable design that enhances your natural hand, wrist, and forearm positions when in use. It also has a cushioned palm rest which helps maintain a neutral wrist position, eliminating wrist pain.

        The keyboard has 5 customizable buttons that you can assign specific commands to make your work easier and faster. This may be the best keyboard for you if you love ergonomic keyboards.

        Pros

        • Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux
        • Relatively quiet
        • Sturdy, doesn’t swivel around

        Cons

        • The keyboard is a little bulky
        • Spacebar might be sticky at first
        • It doesn’t have a wireless version
        • Not good for gaming
        • Some letters and characters might begin to wear off with use

        You can buy this from Amazon for $59.95.

        3. Razer Huntsman Gaming Keyboard

        4.6-stars, 1442 Reviews

          If you are looking for a superfast keyboard, the Razer Huntsman gaming keyboard is one to consider. Its new Razer Opto-Mechanical switches utilize optical technology for unmatched speed.

          The keyboard’s Razer Chroma syncs fully with popular games, and its Razer hardware supports 16.8 million colors on backlit keys. It has fully programmable macros that allow for the execution of complex commands through all keys and keypress combinations.

          This keyboard is originally made for gamers, but many users choose it for its super-fast speed rather than for gaming itself.

          Pros

          • Works for Mac and PC
          • Stiff enough to avoid typos
          • Superfast and customizable

          Cons

          • Because it’s clicky, it might be disturbing in an office environment
          • The Synapse software is bad and might not install on Windows 10

          You can buy this from Amazon for $89.99.

          4. Corsair K55 RGB Gaming Keyboard

          4.5-stars, 3115 Reviews

            This is a membrane keyboard for enhanced performance, whether you are working or gaming. It is designed to give you pleasant gaming experience with three zones of tweakable RGB backlight.

            One of the features that make the Corsair K55 keyboard stand out is its dust and spill resistance, so you don’t have to worry about wiping off spills. It also has a detachable palm rest to reduce wrist pain when you are gaming or on a prolonged work.

            Advertising

            It has multi-key anti-ghosting features so those keypress combinations are executed without hassles. You also have direct control over your audio with the dedicated volume and media control keys.

            Pros

            • Competitive at its price
            • No software needed for RGB lighting
            • Quiet keys
            • Programmable keys
            • Media buttons are included

            Cons

            • Caps Lock and Num Lock indicators might stop working intermittently
            • Game hangs for about 30 – 60 seconds whenever you use a controller

            You can buy this from Amazon for $49.88.

            5. Apple Magic Keyboard

            4.6-stars, 1328 Reviews

              The most remarkable thing about the Apple Magic keyboard is its rechargeable batteries and the fact that it can be used to enhance your typing experience on smaller devices such as the iPad and iPhone.

              This keyboard can pair with any apple device that runs on IOS 9.1 and up. Therefore you can use the keyboard to type long text messages and emails on your iPhone. This may be the best keyboard for Mac.

              Pros

              • Comes with rechargeable batteries
              • Though made for Mac, it’s also compatible with PC

              Cons

              • The keys are not lit
              • Some keys, especially the arrow keys are quite small
              • Be careful, refurbished items might be sold as new

              You can buy this from Amazon for $94.

              6. Logitech MK270 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

              4.1-stars, 20,735 reviews

                This is another great product from Logitech, especially for people on a tight budget. Like MK550, this keyboard also comes with a paired mouse and does have a long battery life as well.

                Although cheap, Logitech still maintained the connectivity signal of 2.4 GHz, so you can use the keyboard within a 10m range and there won’t be dropouts. It also has 8 programmable hotkeys to boost your productivity when you type.

                Pros

                • Long battery life: the keyboard battery lasts up to a year while that of the mouse lasts for two years.
                • Programmable hotkeys to boost productivity
                • Budget-friendly
                • Optical mouse included
                • Wireless keyboard

                Cons

                Advertising

                • Build quality is low
                • The paired mouse looks cheap
                • There might be random keystrokes delay

                You can buy this from Amazon for $24.99.

                7. Redragon K552-RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

                4.6-stars, 1482 Reviews

                  This is a mechanical anti-ghosting gaming keyboard with RGB backlighting and lettering and conflict-free keys (n-key Rollover) to provide ultimate gaming experience.

                  This keyboard has adjustable rear feet to give you a typing angle to work fast and comfortably. It also has 12 multimedia keys to enhance gaming.

                  You won’t have to worry about your keys in tough gaming conditions as this keyboard is built with metal alloy and ABS with plate-mounted clicky mechanical keys and switches. It comes with a high-speed USB cable and a connection to establish a firm connection so you can enjoy gaming without hassles.

                  Pros

                  • Sturdy and compact; saves space on your desktop
                  • It has swappable switches
                  • A good buy for its price

                  Cons

                  • Clicky keys and loud switches. It may not be suitable where some level of silence is required.
                  • Some LEDs might break with continued use
                  • Support for Mac is limited, only Windows PCs are fully supported.

                  You can buy this from Amazon for $44.99.

                  8. Havit Mechanical Keyboard and Mouse Combo

                  4.4-star, 1116 reviews

                    This is an RGB lighting keyboard and mouse. It’s an all-metal panel mechanical keyboard with a floating design. It has 104 keys and each of the keys has individual switches with full n-key rollover.

                    The keyboard is ergonomic and has a detachable wrist rest to reduce stress and pain on your wrist. The mouse is also programmable and has DPI levels adjustable up to 4800 DPI. You can even customize your own lighting layouts on the keyboard and it stores and retains your configurations.

                    This keyboard is compatible with Windows, MAC, and Linux. If you like mechanical keyboards, this might be the best keyboard you’re looking for.

                    Pros

                    • Impressive build quality
                    • Great buy for its price
                    • Universal compatibility

                    Cons

                    • The blue switches in the keys are pretty noisy.
                    • Some keys might begin to malfunction with prolonged use.

                    You can buy this from Amazon for $62.99.

                    Advertising

                    9. Havit Mechanical RGB Gaming Keyboard Mouse Headset Combo

                    4.4-star, 6772 ratings

                      This is a complete gaming kit with an RGB lighting keyboard, mouse, and headset, all combined and synced together to give you that ‘rave’ feeling when you are gaming.

                      The headphone’s breathable soft fabric earpads and memory foam provide exceptional comfort. It also has a 50 mm sound driver and virtual surround sound for precision audio as you game.

                      Keyboard and mouse are plug and play and has universal compatibility. The headphone is also compatible with different devices and games, such as PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox, Xbox ONE, Nintendo, mobiles, tablets, and laptops.

                      Although the value for money lies in using it for gaming, it works well for just any other thing that other keyboards can do.

                      Pros

                      • The keyboard is well built and looks great
                      • Keys are solid and clicky
                      • Bright LEDs are bright and come pre-configured with lots of different lighting patterns.

                      Cons

                      • The keys are light but loud
                      • The headset is a bit bulky

                      You can buy this from Amazon for $90.99.

                      10. Logitech MK710 Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

                      4.2-star, 3101 Reviews

                        You already know that Logitech produces wireless keyboards and mouse combo with batteries that last up to three years at an estimated two million stroke per year of office use. You also know that their keyboard has a cushion palm rest for the comfort of your wrist.

                        What you may find interesting in this particular model is its LCD dashboard that displays the icon status of your battery, caps lock, scroll lock, and number lock all at a glance. This might be the best keyboard and mouse combo by Logitech you can find.

                        Pros

                        • The keyboard is sturdy and does not wobble on a work desk.
                        • Keys are solid and soft, making typing comfortable

                        Cons

                        • Letters might start wearing out after some months of use.
                        • Only compatible with Windows operating systems

                        You can buy this from Amazon for $49.99.

                        Bottom Line

                        You will always find a keyboard with good functionalities for a price of less than $100. It is advisable, however, to choose one that is compatible with different operating systems and can connect to different devices.

                        Find the Best Keyboard for You

                        Featured photo credit: Gilbert Pellegrom via unsplash.com

                        Reference

                        Read Next