Leadership and management may complement each other, but they are very different
So which is more important, management or leadership? This is not the right question to ask, rather the question to ask what is the balance between management and leadership that you need to have? To answer this, you need to at what role each plays. Management ensures the stability and efficiency necessary to run today’s business reliably. Leadership creates the change needed to take advantage of new opportunities, to avoid serious threats, and to create and execute new strategies. The point is that management and leadership are very different, and when organizations are of any size and exist in environments which are volatile, both are essential to helping them win.
The Leadership/Management Matrix
The management/leadership matrix show what happens when you have weak or strong leadership interacting with weak or strong management. The four quadrants are:
- Doomed – weak management, weak leadership. Here the business is run inefficiently and with no clear direction to guide and align people’s efforts, decisions and the allocation of resources. People are not inspired or motivated to achieve high-performance, and the business is losing to its competitors. The business is unlikely to survive beyond the short-term.
- Innovative – weak management, strong leadership. Here the business is able to adapt quickly and effectively, but there is insufficient management and associated skills in place to drive stability, efficiency and to create the necessary order to manage the resulting complexity and create order from which to build.
- Well run but bureaucratic – strong management, weak leadership. Here the business is well-structured and managed; it works efficiently which is good while the status quo exists. However, in an environment of change it finds itself relatively rigid and inflexible with its existing bureaucracy and organization being unable to adapt effectively. This can expose the business with existing strengths potentially becoming major liabilities, potential competitors going unrecognized or changes in customer needs going unmet.
- Well run and innovative – strong management, strong leadership. Here there is a healthy balance of management and leadership skills and capacity. The business has a clear direction around which everyone and all actions are aligned, people are inspired and motivated, and as a result they work both efficiently and effectively. They are competitive, adaptive and have the right mix of skills, capacity enabled by a strong business culture which supports the people in their work.
Look at this matrix and, for you and your team, assess their level of management and their level of leadership. People do not need to be a manager or a leader per se, nor is it about their position in their hierarchy. Rather it is how good they are at delivering on and exemplifying the attributes got management and leadership (see the table below for ideas).
Score yourself and each of your team members on leadership and management using the following scoring range of 0 (very weak) to 10 (very strong). The two scorings will give you each individual’s relative positioning and your own. A good idea is to assess people yourself, then get them to self-assess, and then to share your respective findings and discuss the differences/similarities. This is a good tool to identify where and how an individual needs to develop their management and/or leadership skills. This can then be used in helping put together their personal development plan.
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