Leadership? Management? What’s the difference?

What is leadership within professional environments – and how does it differ from management? There have been whole books written on the nuances, but in a nutshell: a manager plans, organises and coordinates a group a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal, whereas a leader influences, inspires, motivates, and enables others to contribute to achieving organisational aims and success (Murray, n.d.). This definition does not preclude a manager being a leader, or a leader also being a manager. Rather they are overlapping, complementary roles.

If you are going to work on leadership or management skills, it is worth unpacking this a bit more, and identifying some of the key differences.

A manager…

A leader…

administers and plans detail

innovates and sets direction

directs groups

builds teams and talent

maintains and communicates

persuades and develops

focuses on systems and structures

focuses on people

controls and directs

Inspires, influences and facilitates

short-term view

long-term perspective

asks how and when

asks why

has objectives and are focussed

has vision and creates shared focus

accepts the status quo

challenges the status quo

react to change

create change

have people who work for them

have people who work with them

René Carayol (2011), suggests that we “manage a little less and lead a little more”, because the positive culture (‘the way we get things done around here’) within an organisation is much more powerful than strategy. Also, while organisations can have similar strategies, the thing that makes an organisation unique is its culture.

So, while management and leadership go hand-in-hand, supporting the growth of leaders within an organisation can help ensure that an organisation’s heritage is not its destiny – that opinions and processes change because the culture is supportive of that change.

References

Carayol, R. (2011). Authentic leadership [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1ACR-odNR4&feature=related

<Murray, A. (n.d.). What is the Difference Between Management and Leadership? Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://guides.wsj.com/management/developing-a-leadership-style/what-is-the-difference-between-management-and-leadership/.

Image

Juggling balls. CC ( BY ) licensed Flickr image by William Warby: https://flic.kr/p/j9EWYV

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About ictenhancedlearningandteaching

I am a director and consultant at Ethos Consultancy NZ (http://www.ethosconsultancynz.com/). I have a keen interest in all aspects of ICT Enhanced Learning and Teaching (ICTELT) where the focus lies on ways of scaffolding and empowering learners. In particular, I am interested in the way that creative, blended approached to Academic Professional Development can create trust, rapport and encourage reflective practice. As such, ICTELT is approached from facilitation, design, evaluation and assessment as opposed to the tools and what they can offer. I am a strong advocate of the potential of Web 2.0 to empower learners from all walks of life and cultures, especially after my experiences working for 6 years in the Middle East. In particular, I am interested how ePortfolios can be used in the VET sector (especially where Literacy and Language challenges are faced), in Recognition of Prior Learning, and in authentic, applied assessment. I have been involved with designing and developing ICTELT approaches and programmes for ten years. Following research informed approaches and design, I apply a qualitative, iterative process to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, programmes and tools, encouraging learners' voices and input from all stakeholders.
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