But do we fully understand what this really means?
Management and leadership are two separate terms. However, since they go hand in hand and work in unison, management leadership is referred to as one skill.
In a work environment, a healthy balance of both these ideas is important.
In this article, you’ll find out what management and leadership mean on their own as well as a combined concept. Along with this, you’ll learn 7 ways to maintain a balanced management leadership role.
The Role of a Manager
Since you are in authority, it is okay if you mend the rules every now and then. In fact, you are expected to go out of the box to take risks that will allow the entire team to work above and beyond boundaries.
This does not affect your job because as a leader, you are only looking at the bigger picture: the end result.
On the other hand, a manager works in a completely opposite manner. While a manager also maintains an image of authority, this power does not give the manager any supremacy over the rest of the team.
Instead, a manager is expected to work with the team on an equal level. This is why as a manager, you cannot break rules or take risks.
A manager’s role is to get the job done. How the team is managed to get the desired result is all up to the manager. So, every step that is taken to achieve a bigger goal is to be handled by the manager.
A work team is like a machine. Every part is doing its job to achieve a common goal.
A manager is a part of this machine, although more crucial than the rest. However, a leader is only an external force that can control the machine but isn’t working within the machine like everybody else.
How to Balance Leadership and Management Roles?
You might be confused at this point.
We just discussed the differences between a manager and a leader. These two roles seem to be quite clashing. Yet, you are expected to somehow juggle both of them simultaneously.
When you get into the practical world, you’ll realize that you actually need to take on both these duties to maintain a running work environment.((EDUCAUSE Review: Managers and Leaders: Are they the Same or Different?))
There are times when the team needs a motivational boost from a leader. But at other times, you have to step down at the same level as the rest of the team to help them tackle problems.
Without the role of a leader, a manager can never encourage any team to get creative. It is only when you’re ready to break rules and go against the flow that you can come up with something new and exciting.
Similarly, if you only focus on the bigger picture without considering the path, your dreams will never turn to reality. This is where a manager does the magic.
All in all, management leadership is one role that has to be fulfilled remarkably.
Things do get a bit clearer if you have other superiors over you. If the orders and suggestions are coming from above, you cannot really work as a leader. All that you are expected to do is behave like a manager.
On the contrary, when you are given complete autonomy over a project, you can quickly put on the leadership hat.
First, inspire your team to come up with ideas that can be implemented to achieve the desired final result. After that, work as a manager to delegate tasks and ensure productivity.
7 Ways to Maintain a Balanced Management Leadership Role
Now that the idea of management leadership is clear in your mind, it’s time for you to work on improving this skill.
Here are 7 easy tips you can use to become a better manager and leader altogether!
1. Be a Role Model
Whether you’re acting as a leader or a manager, you are someone your team looks up to. This is why you need to be exactly who you want your team members to be.
Do you want everyone to be punctual? Stop being late yourself, even if it’s just a minute.
Would you prefer an optimistic aura in your workplace? Start practicing positivity yourself.
Believe it or not, people only do what they see as opposed to what they hear. So instead of talking the talk, start walking the walk and see how everyone else will follow.
2. Communicate the Bigger Picture
When you’re in the process of achieving a goal, you usually take on the role of a manager. At this point, you’re so focused on communicating the individual tasks that you can sometimes forget the bigger picture because that is what a leader is supposed to do.
However, without the expected outcome in mind, you and your team cannot produce it.
Communicate the expectations very clearly as you’re delegating the tasks. So basically, this is where you have to act as a leader and a manager side by side.
3. Be Decisive
Your decision power is vital. A strong, decisive management leader makes the job easy for everyone. The team can put their trust in their supervisor, and you as the supervisor should be able to make firm choices.
No matter how unexpected of an issue or situation arises, your decisive power shouldn’t waver to maintain high morale and discipline.
The team will be able to put their trust in you. They will always know you’ll come up with a solid solution and so, they can focus their attention on more important tasks instead of minor worries like these.
Also, it saves a lot of time because you are always sure of what you want and what is completely off-limits for the team.
4. Have a Listening Ear
Management leaders can sometimes become too strict. In hopes of maintaining authority, they become so unreachable that they lose any connection with the team.
As a manager, it is your duty to work alongside your team to keep the machine running smoothly. Even as a leader and despite being an external force, you have to be involved enough to know how to keep the machine going.
Offer an open ear to listen to team conflicts, complaints regarding your role, feedback, suggestions, and anything else that your team members have to say.
Also, don’t just listen and ignore it. Act on it so that everyone feels heard and secure.
5. Accept Differences
Two people may be looking at the same thing and still not see it the same way. This is just how humans are.
The day you accept this fact, you’ll instantly become much better at management leadership. You won’t expect your team to receive a carbon copy of what’s in your brain.
When you start accepting differences, you’ll be okay with people working in their comfort zones. Once that starts happening, your team will start to produce something beyond your expectations.
6. Build Your Team
As a management leader, your ultimate job is to build your team. Support them and empower them. Include people from varying backgrounds, with different skill sets, with different work styles, and maintain a healthy balance of variations.
With more brains on the team, you’ll get insight from different perspectives and that only broadens your options. Nothing can be more satisfying to a leader than a team like this.
This is also why inclusive teams and leaders are proven to produce better outputs.((Harvard Business Review: Why Inclusive Leaders Are Good for Organizations, and How to Become One))
7. Never Stop Learning
It may be hard for you to comprehend but just because you’re at a higher authority level doesn’t mean you’ve learned everything.
There’s always room to grow. And this growth comes from learning. Continue to strive to improve your role as a management leader.
When your team sees that you continuously struggle to become better, they will follow you on the same route. Overall, continuous learning will reap better results for you and your organization.
The ball is now in your court. All that’s left to do now to become a better management leader is the application of this knowledge.
Take it one step at a time. Implement one tip at a time.
Begin now and you’ll notice mind-blowing results in your workplace within a short period!