We’re often asked if being a Manager is the same thing as being a Leader. It’s an interesting question, so let’s explore it.

Picture the scene. Jane has been with her company for two years. She’s great at what she does, her customers love her and her colleagues have huge respect for her.
When an opening becomes available, Jane is the obvious choice for the promotion. She’s the perfect candidate for the job, and easily slips in to her new role, fully embracing her next challenge.

Sound a little too straightforward?


That’s because it usually is.

Great at the job – or great at managing people?
Often, when people are promoted to a managerial position, it’s because they’re great at their existing job. Of course, this is pretty crucial when it comes to climbing the career ladder.  However, the reason that many internal promotions fall down is that when an individual is suddenly given a new role where they’re managing people for the first time, there’s an expectation that they also know how to lead a team.
More often than not, the newly promoted employees don’t have the leadership skills required for a management role, so what they actually do is continue with the day to day elements of their job that they are familiar and confident with. They simply treat the new, crucial elements of their role as an “add on” – resulting in them being completely overlooked. This can quickly lead to disappointment from employers who feel the staff member is underperforming, and stress for the employee who can feel “thrown in at the deep end”. In short, they have been left to rely on their existing skills with no real career development.

So how does management and leadership differ?
Management is, in essence, the use of resources to achieve results through the efforts of another person. It’s delegation at it’s finest, and is a means to get the job done. If a Manager is simply managing a process, it’s an effective way of working. However, if they’re managing people, they also need to demonstrate the traits of a leader.

So, how that might look?
• A manager will organize a team or department, whereas a leader will motivate them and improve performance.
• A manager will adjust to change – but a leader will make change happen, setting an example and guiding their team
• A manager will follow procedure – yet a leader will set the pace and the vision.

These are just a few examples from a long list to demonstrated that management is functional – whereas leadership required far more.

How can a business help a great manager become a great leader
In addition to great management skills, a fantastic leader has many qualities, including charisma, great communications, consistency, and fairness. Some of these characteristics are innate – but others need to be taught. Businesses need to support their management team with regular training and coaching, to enable them to reach their full potential. Ultimately, this will improve the capability and behaviors of leaders to get the most out of their team. It’s really very simple – but it’s an area that many businesses overlook.

In conclusion
Every business needs leaders to inspire the team and drive the organization to not only succeed, but to thrive. In order to do this, middle managers need to be continually developed and nurtured with regular quality training and communication. People Matters HR have a proven track record of helping leaders understand their role so they can carry it out more effectively Learning from us gives the individuals you employ in a management role the tools they need to help the business grow. If you want to help develop your managers in to leaders, we can help. Call PMHR on 0161 738 1808 for more information.