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What’s the difference between Management & Leadership & why does it even matter?

What’s the difference between Management & Leadership & why does it even matter?

Knowing the difference is critical for individuals to know when to pull the right “leavers” & for organization it is why effective “Talent Management” & “Succession Planning” is so important for sustainable success. Organizations need to find leadership potential & invest in it as soon as possible.

Often I ask the question of clients what is the difference is between “Leadership and Management” and I am always surprised at the variety of answers I receive, ranging from very intellectual to an honest “I don’t really know.”

The beautiful thing is both are roles that need the individual to continuously grow for sustainable success and both are responsible for enabling the growth of the people around them. Management and Leadership are not the same. Not all leaders are managers; you can be good at one or both & vice versa. But in reality, unless you are the CEO of a major corp. or President of a country, you are own both roles to varying degrees. They are complementary & equally important. Here are some key differences:

Leaders are strategic, looking around the corner & responsible for delivering the end result. They create and communicate the vision and align the organization to it. They make the bigger decisions and establish direction for others. They inspire, providing a clear purpose for the people following them, “motivate the troops.” Leaders ask the big picture questions & mentor future leaders. They cause effective change.

Whereas Managers are the “organizers.” They are critical to making the vision a reality through people & other resources. They plan, budget, hire, manage & develop staff. They control & solve problems & create predictability, improve efficiencies and maintain order. They provide clear expectations & hold people accountable.

Management can be an 8-5 job, whereas with leadership there’s no on/off switch.

Most organizations are facing a leadership shortage. Both need to be learned & developed over time. Leadership takes longer to develop & although most of us have some potential to lead, some have more potential than others. Organizations need to find these individuals & invest in their leadership development.

Jayne Jenkins CEO, Churchill Leadership Group