Becoming Great! Leadership VS Management

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Becoming Great! Leadership VS Management

Most “leadership” classes are really management classes. I’m not really sure why. Probably because in these times, “leadership” sells better. But these two are not the same. Once you understand the difference between management and leadership it becomes plainly obvious that this is the case.

Let’s compare.

The word management comes from the word manos– which is Latin for hand. We could say that the word manager literally means “handler”. The word implies the execution of work, as with the hands, hence the classic definition: “getting things done (work), through others”. It also very much implies the present tense, today, or this week. Managers get stuff done just as the word implies.

The word for leader and the concept of leadership comes from a Greek word pros-tithemi which means to stand before. So the word for leadership implies standing out in front of. The word lead implies a destination hence the definition: being a catalyst for the achievement of the potential of people and organizations. The potential of your followers is the fulfillment of their abilities, talents and gifts. The potential of your organization is described in it’s VISION.

If leaders do their jobs well, they don’t have to do them for very long. Because over time good leaders become less and less necessary.

Leadership and management are not the same thing but one is subsidiary to the other. Leaders manage, but managers do not lead. You must become a leader in order to do that. And leadership is the more complex of the two.

That said, I have known leaders who could not or did not want to, manage. The smart ones hired competent managers to “get things done” in their business, to help the organization to make the daily, weekly monthly steps towards the destination they’ve mapped out.

Leaders tend to think in outcomes and vision. Managers tend to think in tasks, goals, and processes. Both are necessary but lets not confuse these two disciplines because they are not the same.

More to come.

Jeff Pelletier