Leadership And Management: There IS A Difference

When the longstanding debate on whether management and leadership are different, it is normally in favor of one. It is, most of the times, a way to knock either in exaltation of the other.

This post is not to serve that purpose. It is to highlight the differences and perhaps, a little more.

Leadership defines and articulates vision. Leadership sees to the creation of systems and process to achieve goals. Management ensures that systems and processes are functioning, as they should. As defined by leadership.

Leadership And Management There IS A Difference

Leadership creates, management maintains. Leading is about creating new things. Once leaders go into “maintenance mode” they are no longer leading but managing.

When managers are no longer satisfied with the status quo and start pushing boundaries to define something fresh, new, they are now leading. I’m sure you catch the drift.

In leading the needed resources are identified and put in place. Managers are there to make sure that the resources are used and fit into processes the way they ought to.

Like leadership styles, leadership is not more important that management. Both have their place. Their purpose.

Understanding context is what determines what is needed. Leading when managing is what is needed will see teams fail. Sometimes managers are made to be bad managers because they lead when they should be managing. The same applies to leaders.

Sometimes leaders are bad because they lead when they or another should be managing. Sometimes there is a blur between leadership and management. The truth is sometimes what works best is a blend of managing and leading.

A tango between leadership and management makes for healthy organizations. Organizations leaning too heavily into leadership will see them being future oriented with the like hood of the present suffering.

Organizations that are mostly focused on management that leading will soon be irrelevant as their focus is usually the now.

Both leadership and management are needed. Effectiveness of organizations depends on the ability to identify the need for either in varied contexts. It involves a tango of leading and managing.

Having said all this, it is also important to state: The function of leading and managing can be performed by separate people. However, there are instances where one person can straddle both functions. In fact, this is often the practice for many.

There IS a difference between leadership and management and it is good [Click to Tweet]

[Photo Credit: zoomed_in]

Author: Blessing Mpofu

just a guy changing the world

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