Quite often, if you have senior status in the workplace, you'll usually manage a team in some capacity. However, it is not your title that defines you, it is your actions and the way you communicate with your employees that determine this. As a manager, you can coast through your position, directing people to complete tasks, but you also have the chance to proactively empower your colleagues. So, what is the difference between leadership and management?
Firstly, communication is the key to reaching shared goals and driving innovation. Great communication gives your team the ability to shape their role. This understanding creates certainty within the business and mitigates any potential risk, forming trust between you and your peers. This ensures staff feel valued within the environment.
A manager becomes more than their job title suggests when they start helping individuals to grow, rather than to just hit targets. Empowering your employees to develop their skills and advance in their career is the mark of a true leader. Also, your actions, as a leader, directly impact your team and it is your responsibility to inspire people. This will encourage your staff to grow, reducing company attrition rates.
In senior positions, delegating tasks is often a key responsibility. Although, there’s a big difference between micromanaging your team and allowing them to become autonomous workers. Giving your teams a variety of work shows that you trust them to develop different skills. Equally, creating a path for people to strive towards, whilst enabling independent working, produces future leaders. Your company will thrive from your team having the freedom to create innovative ideas and work towards a shared vision.
Working towards the same goals can increase trust between staff and management, breaking down hierarchical barriers. As mentioned previously, communication is vital and allowing colleagues to feedback to senior team members makes them feel valued, strengthening company loyalty and increasing morale. With this, if supervisors view people as colleagues, rather than employees, this will show that the business is invested in their progression.
Overall, great leaders strive for more, both for the company and the personal development of employees. Thinking outside of the box gives further insight into your organisation and staff needs. Working collaboratively to revolutionise, but also enabling people to work alone is a delicate balancing act that only a talented leader can implement.