Management and Leadership. Is there a difference?
I was browsing the internet earlier today when I stumbled across an article on The Guardian online site. It was as if it had been placed there purposely as it was perfect for me to base todays blog on.
The article was based on outlining the difference between leadership and management, two distinct concepts that naturally overlap. However if you were to ask 100 people what is the difference between Management and Leadership? I bet the majority of answers would resemble the phrase ‘I don’t know,’ with a few cluelessly expressing they thought they were the same thing.
So I took the time to read the article to see how they separated the two concepts.
The article states how due to recent scandals the debate about management and leadership has been forced up the agenda with many employers and politicians asking how we can prepare our next generation of leaders.
What grabbed my attention was what John Kotter , Konosuke Matsushita professor of leadership at Harvard University, thought about the two valuable concepts. “Key to the problem is understanding the difference between management and leadership.”
“Management is a set of processes that keep an organisation functioning. They make it work today – they make it hit this quarter’s numbers. The processes are about planning, budgeting, staffing, clarifying jobs, measuring performance, and problem-solving when results did not go to plan.”
He then describes leadership as being very different “It is about aligning people to the vision, that means buy-in and communication, motivation and inspiration.”
What I found interesting throughout the article was that not only did it highlight the differences between management and leadership but it also showed how if an organisation is run effectively, leadership and management will be balanced.
How this happens depends on the environment they are operating in. If things are not changing then more management is essential but target setting only works when leadership is present.
So the answer to the question is yes, but it doesn’t mean that they are meant to be kept separate the two concepts are more effective and create a larger impact when working in tandem.