“Leadership and management” are often discussed in the same breath, but are actually different skills. Let’s have a look at them both to get an understanding of them.
According to Wikipedia, Leadership has been described as “a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task “.
Leadership is “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal”. The leader does not necessarily have any formal authority.
According to Wikipedia, Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of coordinating the efforts of people to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively. Management comprises planning, organising, staffing, leading, or directing, and controlling an organisation or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.
“Resources” encompasses the deployment and manipulation of Human Resources, financial resources, technological resources and natural resources.
Often in business you will observe strategic partnerships develop between leaders and managers, who will tend to move up an organisation together, supporting and complementing one another’s skills and ideas.
The leader has the vision, but not the attention to detail required to implement it. The manager does have the skills and ability to implement the vision. Their respective roles in this informal process may not be reflected in their job titles, but this is often the reality.
So how do leadership and management work in practice?
Consider this scenario:-
You are a skilled tree-cutter, and you are leading your workforce through a rainforest, to a settlement, when the group loses its way.
All around you are trees. No one can see the way forward through the dense foliage. Your equipment is on carts several feet wide and you need to cut a path through the forest. You are the best tree-cutter in the group. Do you furiously start chopping down trees?
No, you climb up a tree as high as you can, survey the landscape, and select the best route forward. You see a river, with a clearing near it. You direct your workforce to clear a route to the clearing.
You instruct two men to go ahead on foot with tents and set up camp in the clearing by the river, two others to hunt for food and prepare it. The rest to cut a path to the camp, and then carry on past to clear a route for tomorrow.
That is Leadership, and Management.
Studies of leadership have identified common traits, behaviour, power, vision, values, charisma, and intelligence, among others.
A leader is somebody people follow: someone who guides or directs others.
The Leadership Institute defines the Characteristics of a Good Leader as;-
Management is the art of achieving things through other people.
Leaders lead people, Managers manage resources.
Leadership is doing the right things, management is doing things right.
Not all leaders are great managers, but the best leaders will have good management skills.
There are elements of management not found in leadership, e.g. administration and managing resources.
Leadership contains elements not necessarily found in management, e.g. inspiring others through the leaders’ own enthusiasm and commitment.
Managers are involved in the short term, the processes and systems and the bottom line. Leaders need vision, mission, and dreams.