I always appreciate a fellow writer's attempt to inform and very much appreciate business publications such as Forbes. And yet, I was very disappointed to read an article that yet again tries to make elementary distinctions between leadership and management that are:
1. Not helpful or useful
2. Don't make sense
And because this type of discussion (making distinctions between management and leadership) is still being circulated I wanted to address the points of this article as a way of addressing the often confusing and less than useful discussion.
Here is a link to the article, the title of which is 9 Differences Between Being a Leader & a Manager
Just as a reminder, my expertise is in how human behavior and several of the sciences around it play out in leadership, management and business overall. For the sake of length, I won't be able to go into great depth, just share key points.
Before we go further, I do get a sense of what he's trying to communicate - you don't want to be just a manager, you should want to be a leader - but unfortunately the attempt of describing "good leadership" is set against significant inaccurate explanations of being a manager and degrades what otherwise are valuable functions in businesses. The subtext is, "you don't want to be a manager, you want to be a leader".
Also this is exactly the reason people don't want to be managers. This is incredibly unfortunate!! There is an epidemic of bad management. We should be championing management not "dissing it"!
The industry glamorizes leadership, promotes aspirations to it rather than promoting the behaviors that get outcomes no matter the title or role. We are all leaders and managers, in some way, whether we have a title or not.
Key Point => Though we use these words leader and manager as roles or titles, they are actually a variety of behaviors. To achieve needed results, you need particular behaviors at a particular time. So emphasizing roles or titles distracts and confuses from the essential focus -- what behavior is needed in this context to get the best result.
Here are the points of the article with my comments:
Point 1: Leaders create a vision, managers create goals.
In understanding how the mind works, creating goals is creating a vision. Creating is visualizing. A manager/leader has to help their team "see" where they are going, people see in pictures and movies. So the better way to convey this is senior leaders may create the over arching vision, while leader/mangers at lower levels create "micro or mini visions" to accomplish needed results.
Please, let's suspend any further debates or discussion about the difference between leadership and management and focus on what behaviors are needed to achieve desired results.
// JCS Business Advisors is a strategic business management consultancy via our expertise in human behavior, we partner with forward-thinking senior leaders, entrepreneurs and their HR counterparts to bridge the knowledge & execution gap of connecting people, performance, and profits, resulting in high-performance leadership teams and organizations. // email: firstname.lastname@example.org // Ph: 888.388.0565 // Schedule a complimentary advisory call and receive a copy of our latest executive briefing. Learn about our "all-in-one" system that develops competent leaders and managers, effectively manages operations, people & talent.