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Understanding the difference between leader and leadership

In the business world, we talk about leaders and leadership almost every day, but have you ever tried to distinguish between the two? Understanding the factors that make a leader and the difference between leader and leadership is vital to build a cohesive culture and develop future leaders.

What is leadership?

Leadership is the art of inspiring a group of people to work together to achieve a common goal. In a business environment, this may imply directing employees and colleagues with a strategy to meet the company’s needs. Leadership is derived from social influence rather than strict hierarchy or seniority. Anyone with the right skills can be a leader, regardless of their position in a company or organisation.

Who is a leader?

A leader is an individual who influences a group of people to collaborate to achieve a common goal. Leaders can understand the effort that is required to realise the vision and work towards supporting the team while working cohesively towards the common goal.

The Difference Between Leader and Leadership

1. Person versus Process

A leader is a person who influences a group of people to achieve a common goal. He implements both his personal agenda and the organisational agenda.

Leadership, as opposed to a leader, is a process of influencing a group, team, or organisation to help achieve its goals. Therefore, leadership can be exercised by anyone in the group, not just the formal leader.

2. Individual versus Group

A leader is an individual, while leadership can involve more than one individual.

Since leadership is a process of influencing a group rather than leading it, it can represent a group of people leading an organisation, a community, or a country. In fact, it can involve the entire group or team. This means that even if you are not a designated leader, you may still play a role in motivating the team to achieve its goals and be a part of the leadership process.

3. Initiator versus Result

Leaders help to establish a common goal by evaluating the business context, implementing changes and establishing a desired outcome.

Leadership, on the other hand, is result driven and is not impacted by the personal abilities to influence others.

4. Role versus Acting

Not all leaders are successful in their roles. A person may be formally designated as a leader, but this does not necessarily mean that person understands how to exercise leadership or inspire a group. Some leaders may be more concerned with managing the group than leading and influencing it.

Your success as an effective leader depends on your characteristics, skills, knowledge, and attitude, as well as the willingness of your followers to follow.

For instance, if we compare the role of a leader to that of an actor, then his leadership is the acting itself. We classify an actor’s acting – here, leadership – as inspiring or dreadful based on how well he plays the part.

A leadership certificate program for leaders who want to make a difference

Knowing the difference between leader and leadership and what qualities a great leader possesses, is not enough to be a successful leader. You must also be able to put your knowledge into practice.

You can take up leadership certificate courses to become a successful leader and achieve goals in a cohesive manner.

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