In the class I taught on business management, one of the discussion topics was the distinction between management and leadership. The disciplines are surely closely related, but not synonymous. Management is primarily concerned with the efficient and effective execution of an organization’s strategies. It is the realm of operations – systems, structures, staff supervision and the implementation of policies and procedures. Leadership is primarily concerned with the strategic issues of the organization – defining and communicating its vision, mission, values and markets, and working with people – inspiring, challenging, encouraging, protecting, listening to and teaching, just to name a few of the people skills. Leadership is ensuring that the organization as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that all of the strategies are interconnected, consistent and integrated.
Food for Thought ~
There have been debates about which is more important, strategy or execution, leadership or management. Both, of course, are vitally important, and great companies exhibit excellence in both of these arenas. In fact, both disciplines are interwoven and interdependent. Individuals may be better at one or the other, and some are good at both management and leadership. Both are essential for an organization’s success, and it’s the best leaders who ensure that the management and leadership bases are fully covered.
Question for the day ~
Do you consider yourself to be a leader or a manager or both? Which one is your stronger skill set? Which role do you prefer?
I enjoyed and appreciated all the comments on last week’s post – thank you! I love it when my readers write ~ a nice completion of the feedback loop.