Leadership and management are two critical functions that help organizations achieve their goals. Although the two terms are often used interchangeably, they are very distinct. While leaders have people following them, managers have people working for them. At Founding Minds, we believe that anyone can be a leader and encourage our employees to step up. In this article, we’ll look at how a leadership culture can create better outcomes for customers, employees, and the organization.
Leadership and Management
Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate people toward a common goal. Leaders possess a vision that they communicate to their followers and encourage them to work towards achieving it. They use their charisma, communication skills, and emotional intelligence to inspire and engage their team members. Leaders build and develop the culture which sets the guidelines for managers and the overall team.
On the other hand, management is the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve a specific objective. Managers are responsible for setting goals, developing strategies, allocating resources, and ensuring that tasks are completed efficiently and effectively. They focus on the day-to-day operations of the organization and ensure that everything runs smoothly while looking to leadership to set the vision and nurture the movements.
Indicators of a Strong Leader
A strong leader has several indicators that distinguish them from others. They possess a clear vision of what they want to achieve and have the ability to communicate it effectively to their followers. They inspire and motivate their team members to work towards achieving the vision, and they lead by example. Regi Roy, CEO of Founding Minds, adds, “The company and its leadership must create the right circumstances for leaders to emerge. This requires an environment of openness and respect, a willingness to let people experiment without fear. Employees need to know they will be supported.”
Communication skills are also an essential quality of a strong leader. They are excellent communicators and can effectively convey their message to their team members. They are also good listeners and take feedback from their team members seriously.
Integrity and honesty are also critical qualities of a strong leader. They set high ethical standards for themselves and their team members and demonstrate transparency and fairness in their actions.
Indicators of a Strong Manager
A strong manager is someone who can effectively manage processes and resources to achieve a specific objective. Strong execution of a vision is another essential quality of a strong manager. They can take the vision set by the leader and turn it into actionable plans that can be implemented by the team members.
The ability to direct and anticipate needs is also critical for a manager. Leadership will set the expectations and create an ideal environment for communication and clarity, so managers can focus on providing the team with what they need to get the desired results.
Growing your leadership team
While leadership and management are two distinct functions, decision-makers need to combine the best of both worlds to achieve success. A strong leader needs to have a clear vision, communicate it effectively to their team members, and inspire and motivate them towards achieving it. A strong manager, on the other hand, needs to have excellent process management skills, execute the vision set by the leader, and provide the necessary resources to get the job done. One does not have to be a manager to become a leader. At Founding Minds, we believe that leadership culture has to be ingrained in the culture from the top management.
Roy adds here,
“It flows from the top. The CEO and top leadership should nurture the culture which produces strong leadership and great management.”
Creating a strong leadership culture requires a conscious effort. It has to flow from the top. The grounds are set by the leader of the organization so everyone knows it is ok to step up and they will be supported. It is critical to recognize even the simplest achievements. Regi adds, “It is relatively easy to build a habit of recognizing achievements. It is much harder to not ruin initiative by highlighting shortcomings”. Human nature is to undervalue achievements and overstate failures. We need to flip this on its head to create leaders and to be a good leader yourself.
Leadership and management are both essential functions that help organizations achieve their goals. While the two are often used interchangeably, they have distinct differences. Leaders inspire and motivate their team members toward achieving a vision, while managers focus on the day-to-day operations of the organization. Combining the best of both worlds requires decision-makers to find a balance between these two functions.
“A leader should be transparent with their team members. Managers/Leaders at Founding Minds are willing to admit when things do not go according to plan and also take accountability, boosting the team’s morale. Here managers trust their team members to perform their duties effectively and delegate tasks accordingly. Clear guidance is provided while empowering team members to make decisions.”
– Sneha Pillai, Technical Lead
At Founding Minds, we encourage our people to find their balance in being leaders. Over the years, we have built a culture of continuously improving and working as individuals and teams within our organization. We encourage our team members to take the initiative and step into leadership roles by providing the environment to experiment with fear. We inculcate openness, respect and a non-hierarchical learning style that enables our members to become leaders.