Why Leader v Manager is the wrong question!

I noticed a tweet yesterday “today we will be thinking about what is the difference between Leaders and Managers?”

My response was “maybe your question should be the difference between leadership and management as your question implies that its a status rather than a behaviour?”

So walking the dog this morning, I mused some more on this tweet and I realised that I am also guilty of asking the same question when I am running leadership programmes. In the first half day of a session, getting a sense of where people are and what the view is in the room, I unconsciously  slip out out “so discuss the difference between a leader and a manager”. So lazy, on my part, and in fact its the wrong question.

Firstly, what do we mean by a leader and a manager, they are meaningless titles because we are all both, and in fact I am coming round to the fact that we have made management a “dirty word”, we place little value on it and we believe  that leadership is some panacea for our ills. Frequently getting them jumbled up and confusing metaphors from sport.

Maybe the better question is “what are we doing when we are doing management, and what are we doing when we are doing leadership” or something like that. In essence, lets talk about whats each one is actually achieving, having equal regard for both, and lets be brave to talk about the pros and cons of each.

I would welcome your thoughts to add to my musing.

To be continued….


One thought on “Why Leader v Manager is the wrong question!

  1. Thanks for posting Ian and I agree about it being the wrong question. There’s no need for everyone to be a leader, however everyone needs to be able to manage their workload. For me, leadership is a set of behaviours that guides my actions, which I then choose to manage in a particular way. When I train I say that leadership can’t be taught it’s a choice, whereas you can teach someone to be a better manager. It’s a minefield alright and I’m wearing flip-flops.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s