Acquiring business management and leadership qualities has become the real deal for organization’s success with the fierce competition among organizations expanding their operations worldwide. Hiring competent people having business management and leadership skills is of paramount consideration for organization’s survival. Every activity within the organization must be directed towards its success so strong focus must be placed on individual growth of employees and leading them in the right direction.
A leader is defined as “a person who commands a group of people and inspires them to achieve their goals” while a manager is “a person who is responsible for planning, organizing, leading and controlling a group of people”. If seen critically, leadership is a managerial function but not every manager possesses this quality. It requires an enhanced skill set therefore, it beyond a simple managerial function.
Business management and leadership go hand in hand
Let us explore the main differences between business management and leadership and the ways we can best integrate both of these to achieve synergy in the organization.
The main difference between business management and leadership lies in the vision. Vision is “the ability of a person to foresee the future events and strategically planning them in advance”. Ideally, a manager must have this ability but unfortunately, many managers do not possess this. They exhibit more reactive approach rather than proactive approach which is a leader’s salient quality. Leaders are more visionary and they pre-plan the future possibilities so the organization has the better ability to mitigate the risks and minimize them in the most effective manner.
This visionary approach is followed by the leader in all roles whether it is staffing, compensating, mentoring or training the employees. Discovering the possible threats and exploring the opportunities is the best outcome of leadership.
Managers on the other hand, are the people with policies’ knowledge and implementation. So, being a manager, people have to be good policy followers and implementers as they are the people who are responsible to get the work done by other people. Hence, many times, visionary capabilities might be restricted when following a strict organization’s policy.
A good leader must inspire people because he is responsible to lead them in a particular direction so he must know how to inspire, when to inspire, who to inspire and what to use as inspiration tool. He must know the characteristics and requirements of his group so that he could use them as tools for leading the people.
On the other hand, a manager is a man of procedural knowledge who is responsible for ensuring that his subordinates are following the procedures and laws laid down by the management. Often, his own ideas might get crossed with the organizations’ set procedures so in that case, he has to follow the rules and might not be able to inspire others with freedom.
3) Change driven
Business management and leadership have one major difference in today’s organizations; leaders are more change driven and dynamic while managers have routine responsibilities and job descriptions. Managers have more technical knowledge, more practical job descriptions and projects or target based tasks which are performed on specific lines. Leader has the margin to go beyond routine pattern and experiment with modifications, introduce improvements and innovate. He serves as the source of change in the organization.
Synergic integration of business management and leadership
As discussed earlier, leadership is an essential managerial function but it has been observed that it is greatly discouraged by the organizations due to the extensive liberty and freedom offered in this role. So, organizations allow managers to direct employees, control the resources and coordinate the activities but the leading function is mostly restricted where a manager has complete autonomy of decision making and taking initiatives. Business management and leadership can be best integrated in the role of a Managing Leader where a manager has innate leadership qualities and he knows well how to lead his people, motivates them and be their mentor. A managing leader takes initiatives and shows his subordinates how to perform their jobs, trains them how to be productive for the organization and engages in their personal professional growths.
On the other hand, if business management and leadership are integrated in the role of Leading Manager, then this emphasizes upon a manager leading his subordinates from the front too. This particular skill can be developed in the managers by training and development programs of leadership. Managers who only direct their employees to perform the tasks are NOT leading managers. So, as an organization, you need to decide today whether you want to produce managing leaders or just managers. Giving them the right autonomy and training them to lead the people not only motivates your workforce but it also ensures your long term survival.