I’ve read so many articles on leadership versus management. It seems to be an ongoing debate in any industry. With all that I’ve read and through my own experience, there is one thing that I deem to be true – although each require a different skill set or characteristics, leadership and management really go hand-in-hand.

It is up to the leader to share the company vision and the plan for the future. What are the company’s core values? How will the team uphold them? It is critical for a leader to ensure the team is on board and is working toward the common vision or goal. It is also important for a leader to challenge and inspire his or her team. Imagine how stagnant things can become if a team stops learning or simply becomes complacent with what is currently in front of them.

In my opinion, a leader also instills confidence in the team. There is no tearing down or condescending. A leader wants the team to improve and understand that each member has strong capabilities that contribute to the whole. As Kenneth Blanchard notes, “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” How can a leader influence a team to want more, do more, rather than demand things?

This is where, I believe, a manager is helpful. The leader sets the vision, and the manager helps to execute that vision. What kind of resources can the manager provide to accomplish the goals set before the team? The manager plays a part in helping the team to grow, nurturing strengths and talents.

The manager is also tasked with ensuring an organization’s work is completed efficiently. In order to do so, team members must be self-motivated, eager to do what it takes to generate the results needed for what the company defines as success. Of course, this all stems from the vision – do they believe in it, support it, want to be a part of it. The manager and leader must really work together to create that foundation from which people can grow.

What are your thoughts? Do you think there are distinct differences between a leader and a manager?