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Management vs. Leadership

Management skills are a necessary subset of the skills of a leader. Some people claim to be leaders, but not managers. Usually they consider themselves a visionary. If you look up visionary in the dictionary you’ll find:

visionary – noun. One whose ideas or projects are impractical.

This is a very good definition of someone who wants to be a leader but doesn't want to participate in any management functions. Leadership is determining where you are going and management is determining how you are going to get there. Without management leadership is ineffective. Leaders who accomplish things without any management skills do so in spite of themselves. They would be much more effective as leader who practice management.

There are individuals who are skilled at implementing someone else's vision, but are not leaders. These people exist can make some leaders abdicate their responsibility to manage. While a good leader will surround them self with skilled managers, that doesn't alleviate the need for management skills in the leader himself. The chances of success of a leader who doesn't participate in management are much lower than a leader who understands, values and practices a strong management ability.

Strong leadership is supported by good solid management practices. You can't lead effectively if you have no way of measuring where you are going or knowing how well you are achieving your goals. Leadership by accident is not effective. Leadership must happen by design and design is what management is about. Management is determining a path, a way to reach a goal. Without management you may be able to achieve something, but it is unlikely that you will be able to have continued success. Without management successful leadership is more of a lottery than a process. On rare occasion you might win just by accident, but it isn't because of any skill on your part. Worse yet it isn't repeatable, so it is unlikely that you'll be able to reproduce the same results except by random chance.

In its simplest form, management is the process of defining and measuring success. A leader who defines success, sets the vision, and determines the measurements of success will be much more effective than someone with the same skills who wants to determine the vision but refuses to do any work in the area of management.

Submitted by:

John Dueme

Please visit www.leadership501.com to find out more about the relationship between leadership and management and other leadership topics.




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