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styles of leadership

Leadership vs management

What are the key differences between a leader and a manager? Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they are two very different things.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a leader is "a person in control of a group" whereas a manager is defined as "the person who is responsible for managing an organisation".

What's the difference and why does it matter?

On the surface we can see that 'leadership' and 'management' have different definitions, but let's dig a little deeper and discuss the differences in more detail.

A leader is - obviously - someone who leads, a guiding head whom others follow. Leaders often possess great social influence and an ability to inspire; an effective leader uses these qualities to drive their followers towards a certain goal or target.

Managers, on the other hand, generally play a more active role in the work that's required to reach these targets. It is the duty of managers to ensure that those under their supervision are working correctly and to the best of their abilities, and that the team as a whole is functioning well and meeting its goals.

To put it simply: leaders focus on what should be done, whereas managers are focused on how it can be achieved.

While a leader may be defined as a 'visionary' or a 'goal-setter', the leader's vision would remain out of reach without the work of managers.

It's worth noting that a leader can also be a manager, and vice versa. In some organisations, the leader sets the agenda and delegates the details to his or her managers, but it's not uncommon for a single individual to occupy both positions. Good leaders and good managers share many of the same skills - the ability to think big and inspire others can be just as useful in a managerial role as in a leadership role, and leaders tend to command more respect when they're willing and able to take an active role in managing the projects they come up with.

What other skills are required to be a successful manager?

Managers shoulder a lot of responsibility. If you want to succeed in a managerial role, it's important to be well-organised, and outstanding communication skills are a must.

A manager must be decisive and confident, with the ability to delegate tasks where necessary. Good problem solving skills are also highly desirable in this line of work.

These are just some of the skills it takes to make an effective manager. If you’re interested in finding out more about what it takes to become a manager and whether or not it’s the right career path for you, Hyper Recruitment Solutions can help. Reach out and contact us today to be put in touch with one of our professional recruitment experts – our team will do everything they can to answer your questions and find the perfect career for you. Kickstart your new career today with HRS!

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READ MORE: The 7 Different Styles of Leadership