What is the distinction?
How are management and leadership characteristics different? How will subtle
differences between management and leadership affect your business?
One definition of management is to direct or control the use of, while another is to
exert control or to make submissive to one's authority, discipline, or persuasion. A
definition of leadership is "to show the way, to guide, or to direct."
Military leadership teaches that it is:
"... the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation
while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization."
Management versus Leadership
Semantics to some, but if people are the organization's most valuable resource, then
they should be treated as valuable members of the team.
A leader's job is to show the way so that others want to follow, not to make them
To show an authority vs. responsibility scenario which illustrates how a leader affects
an organization, things can contrast sharply with a change in leadership and its impact
on the organizational climate.
Mike Pulliam was an example of a great leader who exhibited so many positive
leadership characteristics. He ably led his team for two years, through motivation and
Within a short time after Mike's departure, new leadership appeared more focused on
numbers and reports than individual growth and development. The once positive
environment quickly changed and the feeling that you could make minor mistakes and
operate while learning and growing was gone.
The work environment changed from one driven by the definition of leadership to
another where a definition of management governed actions.
As a consequence, people were less willing to go above and beyond the call of duty,
and as motivation waned, overall performance decreased.
Imagine yourself just out of training and eager to apply what you learned. You enter
your new organization and observe, especially the environment, because you really
aren't quite sure how you will fit in.
Maybe you feel trusted and that you will be able to learn and grow in this setting.
Either way, the boss has a big influence.
For new employees, this environment helps them determine whether they made the
right career choice in their new occupation.
Great leaders know that it is a privilege to coach and develop others. They recognize
that by serving and setting the example, they will attract followers and gain their
support along the way.
Management and leadership characteristics are not the same.
Take care of your team ... and your team will take care of you!