Issue No. 65 - June/July 2012
Leadership, management: any difference?
by David Pender
Often, the terms ‘Leadership’ and ‘Management’ are used interchangeably – and for success we need both.
Which skill we apply and when is an issue of context. In my experience, ‘manager’ is the default even when strong ‘leader’ skills are needed in a situation.
Universally, political, technological, social, economic and environmental landscapes are ever-changing. To apply a sporting analogy, these landscapes change the shape of the football field and the way in which we play and score the game.
These changes mean modern-day executives face more challenges than ever in keeping their staff focused on the bigger picture. While managers believe that they have to motivate their staff, leaders inspire them.
I ask the aspiring leaders that I come across in the courses I teach at the University of Adelaide’s Executive Education Unit this question: If I stripped away the power and authority that comes from your position, would your people still follow you? Would they still want to work with you? Would you still be able to achieve what you set out to?
Leadership is about vision: where a business is going and what strategy it is using to get there. Management is keeping a scorecard and making sure we get there efficiently.
The Society for Knowledge Economics, based in Sydney, recently published a comprehensive study of Australian workplaces. More than 5000 employees from Australian service-based organisations participated i...