- Daily Zen
Leadership and management are radically different. And yet, you hear people using the words ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ synonymously, all the time. Lack of clarity around these two terms is condemnable, and the misunderstanding often gets in the way of any reasonable understanding about how to build a company and position it for success in the 21st century. There is one big mistake people make on the issue:
People use the words ‘leadership’ and ‘management’ interchangeably. This shows that they don’t see the crucial difference between the two and the functions each role plays. As a result, they forget that being a leader and being a boss are not the same thing.
Being a leader means teaching by example rather than telling people what to do. Leadership is not entirely based on the attributes you possess. In the ever-fast-moving world, it is increasingly important to display leadership. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we must replace management with leadership. Both serve different, yet essential functions.
We must understand how leadership inevitably requires the power to influence the thoughts and actions of other people. Painstakingly though, people in a management role mistake ‘authority’ for ‘interdependency,’ ‘control’ for ‘commitment’ and ‘managing one-on-one’ for ‘leading the team.’ The misconceptions about what it means to be a boss, often lead new managers to neglect key leadership responsibilities. This goes beyond managing the team. Unless the boss can identify and build effective relationships, the team will lack the resources necessary to do a good job.
One needs to be a leader rather than a boss. For this, they must first demonstrate their character – do the right thing. This is particularly important for team members who tend to overanalyze every statement and gestures for signs of the boss’s motives.
To be a good leader, one must also demonstrate their competence, i.e. know how to do what is right. This helps gain credibility as a manager and a leader. It is false victory if you are able to manage formal authority over your team members. Your people aren’t going to be committed to the job, and they will never take an initiative. Over the time, they’ll fail to improve continuously, a requirement in today’s turbulent business times. Now, this is a lost opportunity for the employee, the manager, team and the company as a whole. And herein lies a lesson for all managers – be a leader, not a boss.