Balancing Leadership and Management: Cultivating Growth and Success

In my last blog I talked about motivational leadership styles.  I want to develop this topic a bit further to include the difference between leading and managing.  Over the years I have seen these two styles collide and cause serious riffs in the ranks of companies that I have worked for.  On the other hand I have seen great leaders that know when to lead and when to manage, these are the best type of people to work with.  Put simply managers’ control and leaders motivate.

In my opinion managing people is about control and structure.  Management is important for making sure that certain tasks happen every day to keep the lights on.  There needs to be authority and rules to make sure people do their job, this is management.

Leadership is about motivating team members to be the best they can be.  It’s about leading them to personal growth and company success.  An environment that lacks inspiration or vision is awful to work in.  Leaders make sure the organization has a vision and helps the team see how they will reach these goals.   An environment with great leadership makes it possible for the company to thrive and more importantly for the team to grow and flourish.

Both of these types of styles have a place in every business and are necessary to help a business succeed.  However if the two are unbalanced, it can cause disaster.  Too much management leads to micro-management.  If an organization encourages micro-management it will negatively impact productivity, leaving your team feeling untrustworthy and unmotivated.  On the other hand, a company with leadership and no management will most likely be in a state of chaos.  The team will get nothing done, because they will not have the resources or support to follow the vision.  They are like a ship with no sail, great ideas and no way to execute.

On a day to day basis as a business or community leader you have the choice to lead or manage, both of these tools are in your toolkit.   I prefer to make the decision to lead or manage based on the situation.  It’s very easy to get caught up in managerial tasks, or what I like to call “busy work.”  The best way to avoid this is to delegate, because we all know you can’t do it alone.  Delegation is a great example of leadership; it instills trust in your team and gives you time to calculate the next strategic move.  Having a equal balance of leadership and management in an organization is great for the business, shareholders and the team members.  It’s a daily challenge to be aware if we are leading or managing, we need to do both seamlessly.

Do you have any personal situations or opinions on balancing leadership and management?  Please comment


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