The terms ‘management’ and ‘leadership’ are often used interchangeably, but don’t be fooled – they are unique and distinct in a multitude of ways. While both are critical to any organization or business, they require different capabilities and talents.
Leaders and mangers: both are important and both are necessary. Which one are YOU?
Consider the roles or tasks you feel most naturally drawn or inclined to. What kinds of work do you choose to do, when the choice is yours to make? What tasks or roles do you enjoy the most?
You are probably more comfortable and more experienced in one or the other. Once you know where your natural comfort and skill is found, think about how to build up the other.
Do you have some leadership muscle, but need to build up your management strength?
- Read and become familiar with the concepts of project management and process improvement for your industry.
- Identify and list all the ways you could better organization your office, your department, or your business/organization, and tackle one organization project each week.
- Find a colleague who you deem competent in budgeting and ask to shadow them as they work on budget-related tasks.
Do your management skills shine while your leadership skills need some polishing?
- Develop broader knowledge of your business or industry. Look to and learn about other departments, partners, or sectors, both internally and externally, to become more ‘generalist’ than ‘specialist.’
- Focus on relationships – with subordinated, peers, clientele, and managers. Building relationships help you gain influence in meaningful, multidirectional ways.
- Find ways to partner with others. Sharing responsibilities, risks, and rewards will help you gain trust and support others in their success.
Mastering all of the skills for both leadership and management is a tall order. It may not be accomplished quickly or easily, but knowing the differences – and above all, knowing YOURSELF – can help you build your leadership AND management capabilities.