Authority vs Leadership

The difference between authority and leadership is distinct and huge but can be very similar if none can determine the fine line. It often happens that I am asking myself the difference between leadership and authority. Today, the authority is hard to impose, whether within the family or the company. Leadership, on the other hand, is much more successful. After many researches, I think I have an answer or at least part of it.  So, let’s discover or rediscover the difference between these two methods of management.

  • What’s Leadership?

“the action of leading a group of people or an organization.”

In my opinion, leadership requires more than that: It actually involves guidance, assistance, communication, control, supervision…

It also means to better engage partners to undertake various actions to achieve collective results. Leadership position aspires respect. However, to be respected, to be credible and motivating, we must be at once charismatic, influential, authoritarian, but also know how to exercise a slight domination by showing we have the power and that we are capable of having control over our peers … all with great subtlety.

  • What’s authority?

“the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.”

It also implies rules, command, dominance, control, charge….

Authority is a much more basic concept that is generally attributed to people who seem to us to be legitimate. It can come from social status, experience, success in a specific area and many other factors. The manager who uses the authority alone is more like a dominant personality who seeks to enslave his teams, it is for this reason that it is today much less accepted than the leadership.

  • Difference between leadership and authority:

Answering this question is a complicated exercise: here we are touching on certain notions of management.

On one hand, the idea of leadership refers to the position of leader within a team: the leader leads a team, with his agreement. And he is recognized as such. The notion of authority, on the other hand, implies a power relationship that is clearly less friendly. In short, on the one hand, the team must be in agreement with the directives, on the other hand, they must obey the directives …

The leader leads others to a goal he wants to achieve with psychology and tact. If he was simply authoritarian, the leader could find himself in a delicate situation, because today’s employees have more and more difficulty accepting to follow dictated rules if they do not make sense. Also, to be authoritarian, it is not necessary to have charisma. On the other hand, it is essential to be legitimate. The bossy manager is no longer considered as leader, the manager who uses leadership is respected while being seen as a collaborator.

  • The importance of Leadership:

The leadership nowadays has become a strategic asset, without which order, and dynamism are almost non-existent. The manager must therefore have the courage to train his team to success, all in a positive spirit. A good manager who masters leadership is able to lead by example, he questions the processes, inspires a common vision, leads others to act and rallies employees through his charisma. In general, a leader is recognized not by his personal characteristics, but rather by the number of people he manages to inspire.

Management is not a simple task, to train the crowd without using the simple authority, it is necessary to show empathy while mastering the basic rules of leadership (learn to convince, listen, engage, etc.).