Are Leadership and Management Development Two Different Things?

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Leadership Versus Management

Do you know the difference between leadership and management? In Western economies, the lines between the two have become blurred.

In her book, The Seven Keys of Charisma (1997), Joanna Kozubska says: “There are times when a leader needs good, systematic management skills and times when a manager must inspire people. We have to be able to do both.” This has significant implications for the way that leaders and managers should be developed.

Originally, the difference between management and leadership arose based on the perception that management was about implementing organization and leadership was about motivation, vision, and managing change.

Based on this differentiation of skills, different training solutions evolved to meet these needs. Managerial training involved elements of planning, organizing, staffing, reporting, and budgeting. Often lead by a specialist, management training was finely tuned to meet the requirements of a particular population.

In contrast, leadership development programs often look not at the “what” of a manager’s role but rather the “how.” Typically, these programs stem from one of the many different theories of leadership. Some of these key theories are:

  • Situational Leadership

    Different circumstances require different forms of leadership

  • Leadership Traits

    By examining the traits of great leaders, employees can copy and develop them

  • Leadership Behavior

    Looking at what leaders do, rather than their traits; if we can define successful leadership behavior, we can train others to replicate it in the workplace

  • Authentic Leadership

    Encouraging leaders to be true to themselves and take unconditional responsibility

  • Transactional Leadership

    The mutual benefit from an exchange-based relationship, where the leader offers certain things, such as resources or rewards, in return for the follower’s commitment

  • Leader as a Hero

    Leaders are born with innate, unexplainable skills and charisma; consequently, they are elevated to hero status

  • Attribution

    Recognizing the importance of followership and concentrating on the factors which induce people to follow a particular leader

  • Transformation

    Proactively motivating others to breed commitment, not just compliance

The Importance of Leadership Development

Whichever model or training vehicle is used, the essential difference between management and leadership development is in the role of the facilitator. Management training requires the facilitator to remain in the instructor role, imparting new information to the participants. On the other hand, leadership development focuses on the “how.” He/she needs to create an environment where participants feel confident enough to articulate their development needs, learn how they can fulfill them, and practice different approaches in order to close any gaps.

While leadership development had to rely on and reference managerial responsibility, management training did not need to reference leadership experience. An instructor could lead a successful, practical management session in isolation from any leadership capability or behavior. In other words, they could operate quite successfully in a leadership vacuum. This led to some participants to see leadership development as something “for them upstairs” and not as something that was instrumental in their everyday operational tasks.

Fundamentally, leadership is proactive. Effective leaders anticipate problems and opportunities and they motivate and develop strategic responses. In contrast, management is reactive. When problems develop, managers respond. In the past, this was the key differentiation between leadership and management. Now, the two are coming together.

Leadership and Management Today

Today’s team managers have to process more data and react more swiftly than they did ten years ago. However, they are now also expected to take responsibility for the morale, well-being, and development of their teams.

At the same time, there has been a cultural shift from the perspective of employees about their manager. Managers may be responsible for the commercial aspect of their team’s performance; however, in achieving these goals, employees expect that the manager will behave not as a dictator, but as a colleague – not as the boss, but as a coach.

The simple truth is that today’s organizations no longer want managers who can maintain the status quo; they want leaders at all levels who can inspire individuals and the organization to greater success.

Ultimately, when looking to build and structure your management and leadership development, you should be highlighting the link between managerial training interventions and leadership responsibility.

Originally featured in TrainingZone

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