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What exactly is the distinction between leadership and management? Diffen.com offers the following comparative definitions – “Leadership is setting a new direction or vision for a group that they follow — i.e., a leader is the spearhead for that new direction. On the other hand, management controls or directs people/resources in a group according to principles or values that have already been established.”[i]
Put another way, management is concerned with the efficiency and effectiveness of existing systems, sometimes using a more directive style and role authority in the process. On the other hand, leadership is concerned with identifying and bringing into existence new systems, products, services etc., and influencing and enabling others in the process.
In reality, the roles of leaders and managers are not separated. Undertaking leadership and managerial responsibilities is a juggling act, and a polarity that has to be balanced to achieve both operational efficiency and effectiveness and change that organisations require. If the truth is told, managerial demands often end up being the winner in what often seems to be the battle between these roles, as the urgent and now often takes precedence over future-focused strategic issues.
So how can a leader/manager adequately balance both roles? There is no magic bullet, however, here are a few suggestions/considerations:
As you reflect on this blog, you are invited to share:
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in May 2018.
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