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Leader, manager, and boss are effectively all the same position, but the titles themselves have different implied meanings. Does this make a difference in the workplace? Absolutely. Titles are subjective, but quite impactful.
The difference can be seen in the definition of the words. As defined by Merriam-Webster, to manage is to direct or carry on business or affairs, and to lead is to direct operations, activity, or performance.
Based on these definitions, management is focused on business processes whereas leadership is focused on people. The best leaders understand how to focus on both, therefore making their title of little importance. Unfortunately, perception is king and titles are given an importance they shouldn’t necessarily have.
Leader tends to elicit a more positive reaction from employees, whereas manager tends to be synonymous with bossiness, which people think negatively of. Leadership is often viewed as being more open and inclusive, whereas management is often viewed as rigid and authoritarian.
It’s really all semantics. It’s not the title that matters, but rather the way that you work. Managers can choose to lead, and leaders can choose to manage. You can call yourself the boss and not act like a dictator. The most successful people are able to both lead and manage, and know exactly when to do each. Finding balance is key as both leadership and management go hand in hand in workplace success. Your title should not affect the way you approach managing your team.
However, titles do make an impression on employees, both when they’re in leadership positions and when they’re the direct reports. It’s more pronounced with Millennial and Gen Z employees than it is in Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Building relationships with bosses and colleagues is very important to the younger generations, and there’s less of a perceived barrier when they have leaders rather than managers. Is this arbitrary? Yes, but it truly makes a difference.
Regardless of your title, you should strive to build connections with your employees and help them develop and grow. Take an active role in leading your team and don’t manage from the corner office. Help them out when a deadline is looming to show them that you’re invested in their success.
The more involved you are with your employees, the stronger the relationship will be. This leads to increased employee engagement, job satisfaction, performance, and loyalty. Actions speak louder than words, and in this case, your employees are always listening.
Remember, a title is simply a word – it’s your actions that truly matter.
May 31, 2019 at 02:41PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs