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Before I answer this question, I believe it is important to understand the difference between the two terms; management and leadership. I used to think the two were synonymous, but I have learned over the years that this is not the case. To me, the main difference between leaders and managers is that leaders have people follow them, while managers have people who work for them. Leadership does not require any actual position or title, while managers do. Certain circumstances require one to choose between the two traits, and by understanding the difference, you can decide which trait to use and when.
I think in order to be successful, one needs to be both a strong leader and strong manager to get their team on board to accomplish the mission and strongest managers possess strong leadership traits. We see this a lot in the military given responsibility is based on rank solely as opposed to actual leadership/management skills. This is not always good in my opinion as not everyone is cut out to be a good leader/manager. I have seen great ones and not so great ones in during my time in. But you learn from both the good and the bad and I know personally, I try to mimic those positive traits and make it a point not to mimic the bad ones I’ve encountered.
An example where someone provided the functions of management when leadership was needed would be a recent situation we dealt with at work with our civilian staff. We had to lay off certain employees due to losing a contract and thus requiring the rest of the staff to do the same work but with less staff. In such a situation like this the team requires a leader rather than a manager because just managing is not enough to get people working harder than they are used to just because there is less staff. There should be strong leadership to communicate the situation to the employees effectively and motivate, inspire and encourage the employees to work harder than usual. If the manager provides only the functions of management in this situation, for example, merely directing, and giving orders, employees will not understand the crisis situation and will only deliver a usual performance output.
I believe leadership is about getting people to understand and believe in your vision by influencing and motivating others to work WITH you to achieve your goals while managing is more about administering and making sure the day-to-day things are happening as they should such as planning, organizing, staffing, directing, etc. Both are equally important and you need both leaders and managers in any organization to be successful.
Just to get things rolling: What are some examples of traits you’ve seen in good and bad leaders? Same with managers?