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Management vs Leadership: Is your Focus Right?

Management vs Leadership: Is your Focus Right?

Management vs Leadership: Is your Focus Right?

In 2021, are you continuing in an existing role, seeking a new one, just been promoted, or, starting a new business? Whatever your position, 2021 is an incredible opportunity to make your mark through either honing your management skills, or accelerating your leadership journey where you can really make a difference! As a start, it is important to know what the difference between management and leadership is and then, you will have the right focus for success on your leadership journey!

 “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” From John F. Kennedy’s inaugural Presidency Address

There are Gaps in Management and Leadership

The SAL Report “Do Australian Leaders Have what it takes” shows that Australian organisations should be concerned about the state of leadership and management capability and the differences between the two. In Section 2.1 What is leadership?, a question is asked about whether it is useful to distinguish between ‘management’ and ‘leadership’. In a classic statement of the difference between management and leadership, Kotter (1990: 103) argues that:

‘Leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Each has its own function and characteristic activities. Both are necessary for success in anIncreasingly complex and volatile business environment.’

The core task of management, according to Kotter, is coping with ‘complexity’, while leaders cope with ‘change’. Each role requires goals, creating capacity and implementation. However, managers and leaders achieve these in different ways.

Managers and Leaders are both needed for Success!

In a HBR article by Abraham Zaleznik, Managers and Leaders: Are They Different,” it shows they are two very different types of people. Managers’ goals arise out of necessities rather than desires; they excel at defusing conflicts between individuals or departments, placating all sides while ensuring that an organisation’s day-to-day business gets done. Leaders, on the other hand, adopt personal, active attitudes toward goals. They look for the opportunities and rewards that lie around the corner, inspiring subordinates and firing up the creative process with their own energy. Their relationships with employees and co-workers are intense, and their working environment is often chaotic.

In this article, the author argues that businesses need both managers and leaders to survive and succeed. But in the larger U.S. organizations of that time, a “managerial mystique” seemed to perpetuate the development of managerial personalities—people who rely on, and strive to maintain, orderly work patterns. The managerial power ethic favours collective leadership and seeks to avoid risk. That same managerial mystique can stifle leaders’ development—how can an entrepreneurial spirit develop when it is submerged in a conservative environment and denied personal attention? Mentor relationships are crucial to the development of leadership personalities, but in large, bureaucratic organizations, such relationships are not encouraged. Businesses must find ways to train good managers and develop leaders at the same time. Without a solid organizational framework, even leaders with the most brilliant ideas may spin their wheels, frustrating co-workers and accomplishing little. But without the entrepreneurial culture that develops when a leader is at the helm of an organization, a business will stagnate and rapidly lose competitive power

Lead to a Vision, Manage day-to-day

A Next Generation blog, The Difference between Leadership and Management” shows that people often mistake leadership and management as the same thing but in essence, they are very different. The main difference between the two is that leaders have people that follow them, while managers have people who simply work for them. Particularly in small businesses, for a small business owner to be successful they need to be both a strong leader and manager to get their team on board with working towards their vision of success. Leadership is about getting people to comprehend and believe in the vision you set for the company and to work with you on achieving your goals, while management is more about administering and making sure the day-to-day activities are happening as they should.

Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing, but they are necessarily linked and complementary to one another. Any effort to separate the two within an organisation is likely to cause more problems than it solves. For any company to be successful, it needs management that can plan, organise and coordinate its staff, while also inspiring and motivating them to perform to the best of their ability.

Leaders have a tendency to praise success and drive people, whereas managers work to find faults. They paint a picture of what they see as possible for the company and work to inspire and engage their people in turning that vision into reality. Rather than seeing individuals as just a particular set of skills, they think beyond what they do and activate them to be part of something much bigger. They’re well aware of how high-functioning teams can accomplish a lot more when working together than individuals working autonomously are ever able to achieve. For both sides to understand what they have to do, and to achieve excellence in doing it, they need to comprehend the essence of the difference between them. This is a matter of definition – understanding how the roles are different and how they might overlap. Managers, on the other hand, will focus on setting, measuring and achieving goals by controlling situations to reach or exceed their objectives.

Managers give directionsLeaders ask questions
Managers have subordinatesLeaders have followers
Managers use an authoritarian styleLeaders have a motivational style
Managers tell people what to doLeaders show people what to do
Managers have good ideasLeaders implement good ideas
Managers react to change Leaders create change
Managers try to be heroesLeaders make heroes of everyone around them
Managers exercise power over peopleLeaders develop power with people

READY to move from Management to Leadership?

In my blog “Rule #1 Leadership Isn’t Easy” it shows that being a leader is so much harder than it looks. It’s not easy however it’s definitely worth it. This is why I am today so passionate about advising entrepreneurs, SME’s and leaders. I didn’t realise how important leadership was until I started working in a space where I was teaching and coaching it. I saw the difference it made. It is been the most important part of how I lead my business too. Why? Because we lead the culture and culture eats strategy for breakfast.

What’s difficult about leadership is that nobody ever sits you down and “teaches” you what being a real leader all is about. Even in the higher education arenas, leadership is reduced to most of the time who is going to talk the most during a presentation. And even on sports teams, the leaders are usually the best players. But that’s not what being a leader is about. Especially when it comes to building a business or leading a team.

“Leadership really has nothing to do with the title or role you hold”

The moment you start your own company, with employees, overheads, KPI’s and cash flow to manage, and people’s lives dependent upon you and your ability to provide for the company, you suddenly realise how many “I want to be a leader or an entrepreneur” are out there. They want to be seen as a leader instead of mastering the one thing that actually makes a leader a real leader…………………..Courage!

You, as a leader, have to take a step back from your impulsive, emotional reactions, and instead operate from a place of calm understanding, kindness and courage. And that’s a skill that isn’t taught in school or clubs, or even on sports teams. It’s learned through watching and learning from others closely who embody these traits and also building your own inner courage and strength. And it’s learned through diligent self-inquiry and reflection, and constantly practicing the art of being resilient, passionate and brave.

Take the Step to move into Leadership in 2021!

Who would love to join me in 2021 to be a Leader for the future of work and also become verified in Empathy, Communication, Collaboration, Drive and Initiative from Veriskills. I am delivering a 20 week group and online program to build GREAT LEADERS starting in February. 

LeadershipHQ are excited to be working with Veriskills where our Leadership Essentials Program where you are awarded for Collaboration outcomes. The Leadership Essentials Program is either a self-paced (not Veriskills) or a group and one on one leadership program which takes 6-9 months and gives participants the human capabilities, tools, skills and resources to be the best person and leader they can be. The Human Capability outcomes you will be awarded on completion of our Leadership Essentials program are as follows:

  • Initiative and Drive (Level 3)
  • Communication (Level 3)
  • Collaboration (Level 3)
  • Empathy (Level 3)

Click here to learn more about Veriskills™, and the Human Capability Framework.

This program and coaching will take your leadership skills to the next level!

Leadership isn’t easy and sometimes we need help. I am always here.

And, remember, Leadership Skills start from within, so grab my latest book FIRST COMES COURAGE!

Get in touch today to learn more about building leadership skills and set yourself up for success!

Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.

Sonia x

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