Is It Time For Management… Or Leadership?

It’s one of the most common questions discussed and debated in virtually any aspect of life that involves someone being in charge:

What’s the difference between management and leadership….and why does it matter?

Most often, those at the top of the organizational chart are called upon to do both—manage AND lead. And it’s a big load.

Most “top dogs” are better at one than the other. But if you approach your work strategically and have a good handle on the needs of your organization, you can find an effective balance.

But it starts with knowing the difference.

In a nutshell, leadership tends to come more from the heart, management more from the head. Leaders inspire, managers direct.

But if it were only that easy. Most big picture issues require a healthy dose of both in order to be successfully addressed and resolved.

While leaders are generally called upon to take a proactive stance, developing new ideas and concepts and attaining buy-in, managers are usually charged with the detail work needed to make these initiatives fly.

But that doesn’t mean leaders can’t or shouldn’t participate in handling the details—and it doesn’t mean that managers shouldn’t think proactively about new ways to approach a goal.

Try taking our little quiz, and see if the distinction becomes a little clearer.

For each of the following scenarios, see if it calls for the skill set of a manager or a leader. Like I said, they’ll all include some level of both, but most will swing one way or the other. We’ll share our thoughts in our next blog.

  • Implement a new business process designed to reverse sinking revenues.
  • Inspire a team that, while capable, has been under-performing.
  • Facilitate the adoption of a new corporate brand.
  • Respond strategically to changes made by your main competitor.
  • Address the widespread violation of a certain company policy.
  • Conduct an internal assessment of the success of a new initiative.
  • Direct participation in a long-term visioning project.
  • Explore the causes of failure of a new product roll-out.
  • Assess the stability of the organization and its long-term sustainability.
  • Solicit feedback as to new sales strategies for the coming quarter.

Grow Big or Go Home!