Management and Leadership: A Duet for Success

 In Coaching, Employee engagement, Leadership, Leadership Development, Rick Conlow

 Management and leadership produce great results played well. Great duets do the same like Tina Turner and Mick Jagger singing together. You’ve probably wondered at some point in your career, what’s the difference between leading and managing? Some managers lead and other just manage. If you label yourself one, does that mean you can’t do the other? However, do they really differ? These are all questions that make sense, ought to be asked and at the end of the day, matter if you supervise a team.

Which is more important in an organization, leadership, or management?  Peter Drucker suggested that, “Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.”  In addition, consultants and experts have discussed this issue at length. There doesn’t seem to be a clear answer. Management and leadership do not encompass the same skills. So, what is the difference and is it important? The best way to describe the difference is that managers get people to do things and leaders get people to want to do things. That difference most often spells out huge gains in team performance. The effectiveness of management or leadership has nothing to do with the job title.

Management and Leadership Defined

Management and Leadership: A Duet for SuccessConsider, if we bucket these two things together, we’re not totally doing ourselves wrong. Maybe we can design a great duet. Therefore, this is the analogy that comes to mind for me.  A lot of people PAINT. Yes, I’m talking about the brush-in-hand technique. Some painters would call themselves artists. Some painters would be called artists by others. And then, there are some painters who wouldn’t be considered artists at all. And one could ask the same sort of question…what differentiates a painter from an artist? At what point does a painter become an artist?

MANAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP: A DUET FOR SUCCESSLikewise, not every leader is a manager. And not every manager is a leader. But, every manager has the ability and opportunity to become a leader. Just like every painter has the potential (if desired and pursued) to become an artist. There are many things that separate the two. Here is a summary.

Managers assign. Leaders inspire.
Managers plan. Leaders envision.
Managers organize. Leaders risk.
Managers talk. Leaders demonstrate.
Managers employ. Leaders empower.
Managers assimilate. Leaders innovate.
Managers observe. Leaders create.
Managers adhere to the box. Leaders step outside of the box.
Managers use familiarity. Leaders spot opportunity.

However, each requires integrity, and positive influence to be effective.

For example,, John P. Kotter in his book, A Force For Change, says leadership establishes where a group of people should go. Then, gets them lined up in that direction. Furthermore, helps them commit to movement. Even more, energizes them to overcome the inevitable obstacles they will encounter on the way.

Keys to Effective Management and Leadership

Are there dangers in being a manager over a leader or a leader over a manager? Yes. Strong leadership without management can disrupt the orderly, planned system necessary to successful business. This is because it focuses on change and is not dependent on position or power. Strong management without leadership can discourage risk taking and inhibit the need for change. It can actually eliminate the ability to change or see opportunities. Why? Because the manager becomes inflexible. Which is more important?  Neither. That is to say, management is needed to drive the daily business. Similarly, leadership is needed to promote growth and change for the future. Each have their benefits but in their unity is the real strength. 

Management and Leadership: A Duet for SuccessAbove all, good management causes consistency, results and order. In addition, it keeps things on time, and within budget. However, leadership is very different. Its goal is to get people to move forward rather than staying consistent.  Leadership is about innovation.

People who think managing is the same as leading may not fully understand leadership. Leadership has its own implementation strategy. Leaders create a vision and get the team to trust this vision.

Certainly, this isn’t to suggest that managers who aren’t leaders aren’t good at all. But I would argue that really great managers are leaders. For example, leaders are individuals that inspire their teams to get to the next level.

Kouses and Posner, in the book, The Leadership Challenge, studied managers who achieved their personal best. As a result, they affected positive change in their organizations. Subsequently, their research indicated that there were five components to their leadership transformation:

  • Challenge the process by examining everything you do, both successes and failures.
  • Inspire a vision by helping people to focus on the larger picture as it relates to their jobs.
  • Encourage the heart through recognition of both effort and results.
  • Enable others to act through empowerment, training, coaching, and effective systems.
  • Model the way through setting a clear example and “walking the talk.”

A Management and Leadership Transformation: 3 Quick Tips

#1. Broaden your perspective.

Learn more. See more. Ask more. Get to know more people. Get to know more processes. Likewise, don’t work on becoming an expert on everything. Work on becoming aware of it all. Also, don’t just keep it within the bounds of your company.  What someone does well in another industry or company may help you.

#2. Take risks.

If you are motivated by fear and a comfortable routine, you many not become a leader. Keep in mind, good managers are consistent and want to get things right. “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is there adage. Leaders are courageous and willing to make mistakes. They want to challenge the status quo. Furthermore, they keep learning and innovate so that good change is constant.

#3. Be yourself.

Good managers emulate others to learn from the best. Likewise, leaders don’t do things like everyone else has. Similarly, they create their own way, on their own terms. Consequently, they focus on getting results today while working on improving for tomorrow.

Pulling it All Together

In summary, wherever you are today, stay encouraged that reaching your full potential is a process. It’s not an overnight transition.  Furthermore, it is a persistent trek in a consistent direction. In conclusion, I believe managing is about the task, getting the job done today. Most importantly, leading is about helping the people-the team-excel tomorrow. As a result, CX, EX, profit, and a better paycheck come later in a bigger manner.

Management and Leadership: A Duet for SuccessIn addition, do you want proven approaches to increase the employee engagement? Check this out: How to Motivate-INSPIRE-People.

Also, do you want to accelerate your path from manager to leader? Read the Superstar Leadership book.

Finally, go here for our RealTime Learning & Training leadership and personal development website. Micro-learning and career advancement at your fingertips!









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