Leadership versus management

Is change just about the management or, does it involve leadership?

If so, what's the difference?


Leadership versus management - to see whether you are a Leader or a Manager, answer True or False to the statements listed below the picture:


leadership versus management, characteristic of leadership, define leadership,change management,change managers,change management training

  • I think more about immediate results than I do about mentoring others

  • It’s nice to know about people’s long-term goals, but not necessary to do the job

  • The greatest pleasure in my job comes from making the work process more effective

  • I spend more of my time and attention on the weaker performers than I do on my top performers, who basically take care of themselves

  • It’s my job to know everything that goes on in my area

If you answered mainly "True" to the questions above, then you’ve given a Manager’s response. If you’ve answered mainly "False", then you’ve given a Leader’s response.

The difference between leadership and management really boils down to the influence a particular leader may have. Some just try to keep the boat afloat, and others strive for greatness.



“Those who have changed the universe have never done it by changing officials, but always by inspiring the people.”

Napoleon Boneparte




Leadership versus management - someone whom others will follow


I define leadership as someone whom others will follow.

In my experience:leadership versus management, characteristic of leadership, define leadership,change management,change managers,change management training

  • Leaders drive change where as managers deliver it
  • Leaders define culture whereas managers are defined by it
  • Leaders innovate whereas managers administrate

Whilst the very definitions change management and programme management emphasise the management aspect [and of course this is important] much of the cause of the 70% failure rate in change initiatives is directly attributable to a lack of leadership...




Leadership versus management - change needs to be seen to be led


A step change initiative needs to be led - and it needs to be seen to be led.

Identifying and enlisting the support of leaders [as well as the managers] within your organisation is key to successful culture change and change management.

Here is a comparison between the differing but complementary roles and skills of leaders and managers: characteristics of leadership and management


    "Leadership and Management are two distinct but complementary systems…

    While managers promote stability, leaders press for change. Only organisations that can embrace both sides of that contradiction can thrive in turbulent times.”

    Kotter




Other perspectives on leadership versus management


A further perspective on leadership versus management from the excellent changingminds.org run by David Straker and probably "the largest site in the world on all aspects of how we change what others think, feel and do."

My own personal view and experience of leadership is that:

  • Leaders are born not made
  • You know if you are a leader
  • Others know if you are a leader
And my own leadership credo is that "it is better to be decisively wrong that indecisively right"! What's your perspective on this?




Putting all this into practise





Further resources

Leadership Paradox - The Paradox Of Paradox

Leadership styles - What is most effective in leading change?

Leadership characteristics - The 5 practices of excellent leadership

Transformational leadership - Successfully inspiring and leading people through change

Toxic Leadership - How to spot it and avoid it

Leadership quotes

Managing Personal Change - Resources HERE




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