Leadership and management are often seen as independent concepts. In reality, though, these are distinct yet complementary traits. There is no need for the two to be isolated at any level. However, both these activities do have their own distinctive features which separate them as well. In order to be successful in today’s highly competitive and volatile environment, a manager needs leadership qualities and vice-versa.
The mantra for success must include a balance of strong management and strong leadership. When the leadership is strong but the management is weak, there is little scope for success. It is important to understand the key differences between management and leadership in order to appreciate them more and create a balance between the two.
Things or tasks need to be managed while people need to be lead. This is one of the key differences between management and leadership. Things or tasks include physical assets, systems and processes within the company. People would include the employees, customers, vendors and other stakeholders of the company.
One can consider management and leadership as two concentric circles with a sizeable area of intersection. There are four main areas in which these two activities intersect – the ability to listen well, curiosity for knowing and developing new things or ideas, ability to manage their self-talk and accountability for the performance of their business. For anyone who wishes to be a great leader and great manager at the same time, it is imperative to work on these four skills and create their own unstoppable journey in the world of business and life.
In fact, the combination of a good leader and good manager is a rare find. It is therefore advisable for companies across the world to develop such rare gems as part of company policy. This would require thought leadership and investment from the company but true assets for the company and the world can be created through concerted efforts.
The “performance triangle” of Clemmer Group is a consulting framework for the development of leaders who are also great managers and vice-versa. The framework adds a third dimension of technology to the mix of leadership and management to create the requisite balance. This is an interesting framework because not all organizations have the answer to the question, “how to allocate resources and focus of the organization to specific areas?” Technology becomes the bridge here.
Different organizations have different sets of requirement. Some are more in need of technical expertise to help sort out management related issues. Sometimes these needs may be purely technological and at times the systems and processes need to be refurbished. Some organizations need more help with the leadership aspect.
To understand this better let us consider a young and vibrant start-up. The entrepreneur(s) of this start-up has a lot of positive energy and leadership skills which have led them to start-up a company on their own. They may also be technically sound and have great technology for their perusal. Where they may lack, however, is systems and processes. This might be because of lack of requisite experience. This may at times be the cause of poor service quality and management errors and could lead to dissatisfied customers. Thus, a balance needs to be created by upgrading the systems and processes and overall managing skills within such a start-up.
It is observed though, a larger number of organizations across the world suffer from a lack of good leadership. Good leadership is not necessarily present at the top-most level. There is a requirement of good leadership even at intermediary levels. A good leader can become a great manager if his/her management skills are good. This is because, apart from handling the systems and processes that the manager is supposed to manage, he/she is also capable of leading people. When people are led well their performance increases. This is a win-win scenario for the manager, the team and the organization because of overall growth and increased productivity.
Leadership and strategy management teams at various companies can actually develop a leadership development program for managers to create managers who can lead. Some serious thought leadership needs to be invested in this to create asset pools for the future. The complementary strengths of management and leadership include processes and people, facts and feelings, intellect and emotion, position and persuasion, problem-solving and problem thinking, doing things right and doing the right things and many others. It is possible to create these complementary skills in people through programs and training.
Managing requires to get people to do the required work. Leading requires to get people to want to do the required work. A good leader creates a pull by communicating with the people and that is a required trait, especially in the current work environment constituted by millennials who wish to have only the best. They wish to connect with everything they do and only a great leader who is also a great manager can create the required pull to keep this young workforce on their toes and to create more good leaders who are also good managers out of them.