Is it more important to be a good leader or a good manager? It’s important to specify that while they’re certainly not mutually exclusive, the relationship between the two isn’t quite as symbiotic as it might appear. Management and leadership require entirely different skills and possessing both is rare – how the two interact is an interesting dynamic in business today.
What makes a ‘Good Leader’?
We can find examples of good and effective leadership throughout history; Caesar, Elizabeth I, Washington, Churchill, Mandela and Thatcher. These historical figures are considered ‘leaders’ because of their ability to inspire and command vast numbers of people, often with only a blend of charisma and rhetorical power. Real leaders are often morally and/or politically contentious – was it right for Caesar to use his leadership skills to illegally command his armies to cross the Rubicon and seize Rome for himself? Whilst modern democratic ideals would render this idea deplorable, Caesar is nonetheless lauded as a ‘good’ leader because of his extraordinary ability to strategise, command and to use this is inspire his troops and pursue his own agenda.
What makes a ‘Good Manager’?
Effective management is all about drawing the best results from the resources you have. When applying this to management of employees, the best manager will be the person who can produce the best results from their team. Although being a leader and inspiring your team can create an environment where results are improved, management is in essence all about improving processes, increasing efficiency and giving one’s team the systems to succeed.
To excel in business one must conduct themselves in a way that affords both excellent leadership and management qualities. When one is a leader but is void of management skills, they will be found with a ramble of disorganised acolytes, efficiency is hindered and output isn’t maximised. Similarly, when one is a great manager but has depreciated leadership qualities, their team won’t strive to achieve, this hinders productivity and again, the output suffers.
You don’t need to conquer half the world to be a Julius Caesar at your company. Learn from history, inspire your team and put the building blocks in place for every member of the team to achieve excellent results and you will be successful!