Leadership vs Management

The dissimilarity in Leadership vs Management may seem obvious; leading is being effective, while managing is being efficient. Or is it the other way around?

In the typical corporate treasure chest of human resource talent, Leadership would be a rare gem buried beneath heaps of Management silver coins—ensuring there is enough money to keep everyone busy.

It’s easy to see, then, that an organization can easily manage its people when sufficient Managers and funds are available. The paradox, however, is that we want people to be busy, but we don’t want to manage them—an HpO (High-performance Organization) knows enough not to manage its people. That is to say, an HpO leads its people and manages its work. The dissimilarity in Leadership vs Management is therefore not so obvious; companies tend to want to manage people with Managers—whose leadership skills may or may not be sufficient to ensure people are not only efficient, but effective as well.

Leadership is a trait associated with a Manager’s ability to be effective; to visualize a future goal and to communicate that goal to those people responsible for efficiently reaching that goal. In other words, Leadership is accountability, both in the realm of strategic planning and risk management; while Management is responsible for efficiency and change management.

Leadership is about the business, whereas Management is about the culture. A true Leader—a visionary, would think nothing of moving a team of people to a strange land, expecting them to quickly adapt and perform. A Manager on the other hand would understand that it takes time to cultivate an HpO.


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