The Leadership Element in Management

Young Leaders

Recently I was doing a Q & A session with a wonderful ministry in South Africa called Living Hope.

There were a number of great questions, but one in particular seemed to start a longer discussion. It had been awhile since I had heard this question, but it is a question that needs to be discussed again today.

The question was this:

“I am on the management team here with management responsibilities. I am not a leader nor do I want to be one, I love my work as a manager. So why should leadership development be important to me?”

There is a wealth of literature on the differences between management and leadership, so there is no need to go over the differences.  I do however think at times the differences have been over-stated.

Similarities & Differences

Here is a global view of what professionals think about the similarities and differences between Management and Leadership

[slideshare id=368112&doc=management-vs-leadership-on-linkedin-1208906292726533-8&w=425]

Let’s Talk

Now just so you know, I am not a big fan of rules, polices, and procedures. I would much rather have people and teams have conversations. One of the problems with many organizations today is that it is easier to have a rule, policy or procedure than to have a conversation.

That being said, every organization needs some management structure. Every visionary leader must have a great manager-leader with them.

So I am not against managers at all, they are very much needed. But I think where the importance of leadership skills for a manager come in, is learning to have that conversation instead of just creating and implementing rules, policies and procedures.

Joined at the Hip

I would maintain that to be a great manager you must be a good leader. The two are uniquely linked. You need people to follow the organizational systems in place, and that requires leadership skills.

If a manger is really going to be effective with people, whom they work with every day, then they must be relationship-oriented more than results-oriented. Only when they work within relationships will they have tremendous influence and results.

A manger is just one form of leadership, just like a visionary leader.

So lead where you are with excellence!

Tom Atema is VP of Business Development at John C. Maxwell’s EQUIP organization
His passion is Biblical servant leadership development

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  1. Scott Crandall on June 2, 2011 at 4:07 am

    Tom — I recently wrote this for a client, who put it on a large plaque in their corp HQ:
    • The Manager administers, the Leader inspires
    • The Manager uses authority, the Leader uses influence
    • The Manager tells, the Leader asks
    • The Manager maintains, the Leader develops
    • The Manager confronts, the Leader collaborates
    • The Manager enforces the status quo, the Leader challenges it
    • The Manager strives for efficiency, the Leader strives for effectiveness
    • The Manager focuses on process, the Leader focuses on people
    • The Manager notes deadlines, the Leader throws lifelines
    • The Manager relies on control, the Leader relies on trust
    • The Manager is about today, the Leader is about tomorrow
    • The Manager asks How and When, the Leader asks Why and Who
    • The Manager’s eye is on the bottom line, the Leader’s eye is on the horizon
    • The Manager does things right, the Leader does the right things
    • The Manager expects obedience, the Leader expects commitment
    • The Manager prevents failure, the Leader reinforces success
    • The Manager asks permission, the Leader asks forgiveness
    • The Manager talks more, the Leader listens more
    • The Manager explains, the Leader questions
    • The Manager maximizes, the Leader optimizes
    • The Manager defends, the Leader illuminates
    • The Manager is a position, the Leader is an example
    • The Manager is replaced, the Leader is missed
    • The Manager finishes, the Leader closes

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