Managing vs. Leading

Leading and managing are two interrelated but slightly different concepts. There is a specific difference between leadership and management.

However, both leadership and management are needed for the growth of the tobacco business or any other business or organization for that matter. There are leaders and there are managers and there are those people who could be a fusion of the two.

Managing concentrates on performance and measurement of performance. Managers put in place goals and key indicators of performance that can be without difficulty evaluated and recorded. In the process of managing, the focus is on setting objectives and evaluating performance.

Generating high ideals for the processes and systems to facilitate proper behaviors and actions is what quality management entails. It’s an absolute process that aims to specify the things that do not work and the ones that do.

Managing institutes systems in a bid to uphold standards and limit risks. Sustaining the status quo is management’s critical objective. The intention of managing is to be aware of what is presently happening.

Contrary to managing, leadership’s major concern has to do with others. Leading entails intentionally initiating, discovering and communicating value and meaning. Leaders involve others in a forthcoming vision of opportunity. Leadership dreams and concentrates on linking the present with the future.

This focus on the future stands as one of the major differences between leading and managing. Leadership deals with the future and the prospect of such a future while management is concerned about the present moment.

Leaders don’t deal with the existing state of affairs, rather they seek to disrupt the existing situation and use it to bring about the accomplishment of the future potentials.

To paraphrase Bob Willard, leadership has to do with doing the things that are right; management entails doing things the right way. This is what majorly differentiates one from the other.

Leaders are dreamers and they continuously rotate between their options while managers follow instructions and prefer procedures. Leaders are concerned with short-term time lines, they focus on the long-term but a manager is concerned with fulfilling short-term deadlines to ensure success in the long run.

Leading focuses on how to bring about paradigm-shifting changes to offer solutions when things are not working. Managers, however, seek for what works and sticks to it, avoiding change in a bid to seek agreement and a reality that matches.

Leaders perceive while managers judge. Leaders focus on meaning and purpose and make sure to empower their subordinates in the process. Managers, however, focus on systems, behaviors, and actions and they command and control their subordinates.

Managing is concerned with organization and efficiency while leadership is concerned with innovation. A manager sees to it that the business is being run smoothly and without chaos to an effective end while a leader worries about coming up with novel ideas for advancements.

Leaders garner followers and managers exert themselves over subordinates. Leadership, therefore, initiates circles of influence whereas managers forge loops of power. Leading is tantamount to the creation of value while managing is concerned with the mensuration of that value.

Ultimately, what distinguishes leading from managing is influence and inspiration as opposed to power and control.