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Strong leaders appreciate how to manage people well. However, great managers are not always the best leaders. These two concepts are often deemed interchangeable but actually are not. There are attributes of a successful manager that do not necessarily equate to becoming a genuine leader. Here are three critical differences between leadership and management.

 

People vs. Staff

One of the primary differences between leadership and management is the actual focus. Leaders invariably need to concentrate on the people. A leader is someone who is usually followed. However, managers more commonly center their attention towards a systematic strategy.

The strategy is more critical than the actual person who implements the plan. Managers are employed to coordinate a staff using a management system, whereas a leader is entrusted with motivating people to follow them and their ideas.

Managers usually work with interchangeable parts, or a staff, while a leader deals with people brought together for a like-minded cause. Workers and staff are people, but in the context of leadership versus management, they take on a different importance.

 

Motivate vs. Organize

Another difference between a leader and a manager is how they generate results. The best leaders must be able to motivate people. They align the group towards a unified objective, driving them with enthusiasm.

Leaders anticipate change and work to keep the group motivated in spite of constant change. Managers strive to maintain an authentic sense of organization. They play a direct series of steps to meet an end goal.

An active manager will try to remove subjectivity from their decision-making process. The idea is to establish a goal and coordinate a staff using an organized plan to achieve that goal.

 

Goal vs. Results

Certainly one could argue that these two terms could be viewed as relatively similar. However, when it comes to differentiating between leadership and management, the end objective should be considered. Sure, the goal of a manager is to produce results, usually gauged on a profit and loss statement.

A leader certainly wants to produce the desired result, which he envisions as the goal of the group. The difference is that the leader has an explicit goal for their group. It might be to influence society or bring about a change of opinion. Managers will set goals as well, but in the end, they are primarily focused on the results.

Managers and leaders do require similar personality characteristics. However, the two concepts have differences. While they both coordinate people, the manager usually has a strategic business model to follow.

 

Maybe one of the most significant differences is how they assess success. Leaders are judged on whether they meet their objective goal, and the manager must produce financial results. Yes, the two are very similar but still different.

 

Mark Alexopoulos is a leading entrepreneur and technology expert in the automotive remarketing industry. Check out his automotive blog or follow him on Twitter!