Leadership vs Management

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” -Theodore Roosevelt

It is not uncommon in many organizations to hear executives complain about most employees just “working for a paycheck” and not really invested or engaged. Of course, we all need to make a living and so that paycheck is certainly part of the equation. We also must keep in mind that we have no control over individual attitudes and choices that may increase or decrease motivation (think Emotional Intelligence.) But are there things, as an organization, that we can do to encourage, inspire and help motivate our team?

Management is a necessary function within any group of people looking to accomplish a series of goals. It focuses on the day-to-day activities such as schedules, meetings, projects, budgeting, forecasting, planning, etc., all of which fulfill the purpose of controlling an organization to achieve those goals. When you are focused on management, you are mainly considering practicalities, looking to answer questions, the know how to achieve the organization’s goals and the policies that need to be implemented to get there.

But management alone becomes a set of orders handed out to employees without vision, without a larger direction or a sense of purpose, and this is where leadership comes in.

Rather than focusing on a structure of authority, leaders inspire those working with them to become part of a vision, and feel part of a team. Leaders do not have to be at the top of the chain, anyone within their role can become a partner to those working with them.

Leadership at the organizational level is concerned with providing direction, answering big picture questions, arming its followers with the appropriate tools and resources to ensure their success, providing training and coaching to ensure the success of its followers in performing the necessary tasks needed for the overall success of the organization.

Organizations cannot function without effective leadership. A leader is able to influence and persuade followers by inspiring them to work towards the completion of the organization’s mission and objectives. And if you are looking at creating motivated teams, allowing creativity, open discussion and innovation, you will cultivate internal growth and an entrepreneurial spirit that will enrich the organization as a whole. Ensure tasks get accomplished, but be mindful of the approach to get there.

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