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The Difference Between Leading and Managing

Some managers come up through the ranks, while others have been brought in because of their education or experience managing people and projects. Regardless of how you became a leader, here you are, and your job has two major priorities: getting the most out of your team and getting the project done right.

When you're trying to inspire, encourage and engage your staff, you have to be both a manager and a leader. When you want your employees, whether permanent or temporary, to be more productive, you have to know which role is best suited to get them there. Managing a team is more about maintenance – keeping a well-oiled machine going. However, when individual employees are in need of new energy and a boost to morale, focusing on leadership is the way to go.

Managers are about business; leaders are about people.

Management is the brain behind the business. They strategize plans and analyze statistics that boost the bottom line and promote the company image. Leaders hone in more on the individual workers, providing the support and encouragement they need to do their best work.

Managers oversee; leaders guide.

Managers check in on their employees and often observe from a distance, focusing on the overall process as a whole. Leaders guide their staff through steps and stages, working with them to create a more efficient and effective workplace. Of course, sometimes these roles overlap, so it is not uncommon for managers and leaders to wear interchangeable hats.

Managers are task-oriented; leaders are goal-oriented.

Managers assign duties and provide their departments with the tools needed to accomplish tasks. They keep their employees on time and organized, as well as measure success by examining the deliverables. Leaders look at the goal, the desired end result, and let their employees accomplish their goals by choosing their own means. They provide support and training when necessary, but tend to work toward the bigger picture.

Managers plan projects; leaders motivate the team.

While management outlines the objectives for a new project or process, leaders motivate the team to get there. Milestones are mapped out by managers, and they are often the ones to delegate and assign tasks. Leaders conduct the committee meetings, facilitate collaboration and give the team feedback on their progress.

Managers measure value; leaders create it.

When it comes down to understanding if the job was done right, managers have the tools to get results. They measure outcomes, analyze data and develop strategies for the next project on the horizon. However, leaders are often in the thick of it, working alongside their crew every step of the way. They enable their employees to be more productive by leading by example.

Are you looking for new strategies to motivate your team? Do you have opportunities for leaders and managers? Burnett Specialists or Choice Specialists can help bring in fresh perspectives to address your staffing and placement needs. Whether you need temporary workers to lead special projects or a manager to reinvigorate a low-performing department, we have talented, prescreened candidates ready to work. Contact us today and let us develop workforce solutions to meet your changing needs.

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