Leadership is a role, not a title or a position on the org chart. And everyone does it. Skilled, well-educated people don’t like to be managed — being led sounds less unpalatable.
Indeed the word manager has fallen somewhat out of vogue in recent years.
But the distinction between management and leadership is as activities and verbs, not nouns and titles.
All leaders have management responsibilities and all managers must be able to lead. They are two sides of the same coin.
Management deals with organizational complexity — if things are not organizationally complex, then management is not needed…people will organise the work themselves.
Professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, engineers or consultants, may handle highly complex issues but the organization of their work is not complex and may be managed by an assistant who keeps their diary appointments and schedules meetings for them.
Know any professionals who like being managed?
Leadership involves envisioning, inspiring, motivating, communicating and risk-taking. Leadership inspires people to work towards a goal and helps people to be the best they can be.
If management is about rationality, analysis and process then leadership is about creativity, character and people.
Management addresses the part of organizational behaviour that is the tip of the proverbial iceberg — above water, visible and measurable.
Leadership addresses values, beliefs, feelings and attitudes — things that are not quite so easy to measure, yet form by far the greater part of the iceberg.
Brian Bacon explores this distinction in the 2 minute video (he calls it strategy vs culture — but you get the idea).
Good business leadership is about all of the above; it’s about integrating management and leadership skills. Business leadership is not only about what you do it’s about how you do it.
Chris Martlew’s new book, Changing the Mind of the Organization — Building Agile Teams, is available at amazon.co.uk, amazon.com, bol.com and other good bookstores worldwide.
Image copyright C.J.C. Martlew 2015. Post first appeared on Linkedin.
Royalties from the book are donated to charitable causes.