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Leadership vs Management


describe the imageLet’s just make sure we are all on the same page. Leadership is cool Management is dull, right? Without leadership we are all lost, no strategy, direction, goals, passion, drive and excitement? Managers are in the drudgery of endless reporting, performance reviews, meetings, issues, fire fighting ugh. Leaders drive Lamborghinis and party with beautiful women (or men, or both !). Managers drive Volvos and have mortgages. 

Ok so we all agree. As if!

In truth, both Leaders and Managers add equal amounts of value because one doesn’t function effectively without the other. Regardless of image or perception a recipe for success in business is to get the blend of the two right. You need blue sky. You need delivery. But here's a thought…. without leadership, do you need management, or would management even exist? Which type of person takes the risk, starts new business and creates the strategy, that then needs management to deliver? At a more macro level, the programme sponsor will likely set the strategy or will be doing so on behalf of a business leader. The programme manager, project managers and business analysts set about planning, managing and delivering. Is all the latter required if the former doesn't happen?

Conversely, why does every organisation proudly parade their Management Team on their website, these are the guys and girls running the business, look at their credentials, see how smartly dressed they are, they even smile empathetically at you because they understand your points of pain, really they do. Give them your business because this team are well educated and sensible, trust them because they will give you what you need for a decent price and in a timely and efficient manner. When was the last time you saw an organisation's strategy team proudly displayed on the company .com, looking a little bit woooahhh a little bit weyyyyy, maybe cigar in mouth giving a cheeky wink with a look that says "go on, chance it" More to the point, do you work for an organisation that even has a strategy team? If you are one of the minority who does, are they as prevalent as the Management Team? I bet not.

So in conclusion, don't do one without the other. Set strategy and manage it. Don't then take your eye off the strategy, set strategic milestones then as a strategy team make sure whoever is delivering them isn't off doing other things. Hold your managers in the same high esteem as you do the leaders, even if they do drive Volvos!