One of the most common things we come across in dealing with people and organisations is the fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between being a good manager and being a good leader and why the distinction is so significant and valuable.
Now so there is no misunderstanding, let us state; both are critical for ultimate success but both bring, and are designed to address, quite different facets. If you think we are stating the obvious just take a few seconds to read and contemplate the next few paragraphs. we welcome your comments.
What is Management?
The world today is arguably the most complex and rapidly changing in history. Organisations deal with complexity by planning, budgeting, organizing, staffing and setting the goals and establishing the steps and metrics to measure accomplishment of these plans. These are all management functions and extremely important and sets the stage. Management provides people the structure and building blocks as part of a routine and controls and monitors the process using management tools; reports, meetings, strategy sessions, etc. – in other words, deals with the complexity. Management is deductive in nature and aspires. management is about things, processes, systems!
What is Leadership?
Leadership instills alignment and motivation in order to achieve these management steps. This Leadership element is much more akin to dealing with the inevitable change in life / business. It sets the direction and brings the acts of the play to life and to fruition from the base of the stage. Leadership is more inductive in nature and inspires. Leadership is about people!
The Relationship (Difference)
Management does a good job of organizing and defining the work where leadership gives it legs and traction. ‘The best laid plans of mice and men…’ will have no benefit without the inspired action and carry through by an organisation’s main mechanism of transference; it’s people. This takes Leadership in all its forms.
Our MSB Max helpful advice for this edition of our Professional Journey Steps is:
If your own life or business doesn’t seem to be going as well as expected, start looking at it from both of these perspectives, it could make all the difference. Both are, as stated, essential but often confused. To finish with a proverbial analogy: No General [coach / manager] has ever been able to manage people into battle [competition] no matter how good the game or battle plan was… they must be led!
We are complete advocates for this duality and requisite companionship between Management & Leadership – it is built into all our programs so we don’t deliver only part of the solution. Have a look at our offerings. We hope this provided some insight or provoked some thought. Stay tuned for my next post, ‘You can’t manage change, you must Lead through it’. As always, if we can help with your understanding and development of your management and leadership skills and building a synergistic relationship for the two, please contact us – we’re here to help, its what we do and why we exist!
Enjoy the journey.