There are subtle differences between leadership versus management.
"Leadership" comes from the Norse and Anglo Saxon language. It means "path", "journey" or "route". It is focused on looking ahead and being visionary.
"Management" comes from the Latin language. It means "hand". It is focused on being "hands on" or controlling resources such as people, materials and money.
Traditionally, managers controlled a business and were promoted on the basis of technical rather than interpersonal skills.
As the pace of change began to move more swiftly in business, the idea of leadership versus management came to prominence.
Businesses looked to people who could see a way forward in uncertain times, people who would inspire others and gain respect.
It is now accepted that a business will not survive if it is operated by leaders or managers alone.
The skills of management and leadership combined are needed to grow a business.
If you are responsible for leading or managing others, be aware of the difference between leadership and management and which is most appropriate at any given time.
For example, giving feedback to employees could be seen as either a management or a leadership task, depending on the way it is carried out.
Will your employees get feedback on the speed and efficiency of how they performed against deadlines? (management focus) or
Will they be given feedback on the process used to meet those deadlines; what went well and not so well, what they learned from the experience, with a focus on developing their skills in the future? (leadership focus).
Performance based employee appraisal systems have tended to reward management skills. If businesses want to develop more leadership vs management skills in their management group, they need to reward leadership qualities such as good communication skills, how well they inspire others and their role in developing high performing teams.
Measuring leadership vs management is challenging as leadership tends to be less tangible. Also, there is no single leadership model that works; if you look at the leaders you admire, you will find that they all have different attributes and ways of working.
Leaders appeal to your emotions. It has been proven that the brain is stimulated by emotional thoughts 3000 times faster than rational thoughts. This fact alone shows the importance of developing your leadership skills even if you are in a management role.
Here are some interesting leadership quotes on the leadership versus management debate:
Managers have employees,
leaders have followers.
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success, leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall. Stephen Covey
Read our latest newsletter - 3 Pitfalls To Avoid When Making New Year Resolutions - And Why Cabbage Diets Don't Work or view our back issues for more concise tips on practical management skills.