Leadership and Management are often mistaken as identical skills or talents. Either that or leadership is viewed as a ‘superior skill’ to management, based on little foundation whatsoever.
I would advocate that great organisations are built on the excellence of both great leadership and great management, and a recognition that these are separate and distinct fields of expertise.
Great leadership is often characterised by the clarity of Purpose, Values, Vision and Brand articulated by the leader of a high performing team or organisation. Why we exist, how we treat each other and our customers, where we are going, and who we are, are all fundamental pillars of great leadership, which can exist throughout any organisation including the executive team, team leaders or individual contributors. The myths, stories and every day examples of how people live the Purpose, Values, Vision and Brand create the organisation’s culture and reason for being.
Great management is the art of inspiring accountability, productivity and focus on the priorities of the organisation and/or its key stakeholders.
Key principles of great management include: (inspired by First, Break All the Rules and 12: The Elements of Great Management)
- Clear Expectations – What am I meant to do every day / week / month / year?
- Resources and Resourcefulness – What do I need to do my job?
- Strengths – How can I play to my strengths every day?
- Recognition & Feedback – How am I recognised for a job well done?
- Culture of Caring – Who demonstrates that they care about me and my well-being?
- Development – How will I develop my skills / knowledge / talent through this role?
- Opinions – Who values my opinion most right now and how do they show it?
- Mission & Purpose – How is my personal Purpose aligned with the Purpose of the Organisation / Team’s to which I belong?
- Standards – How are my standards being upheld across the organisation to which I belong?
- Trust – Who do I trust implicitly who supports me in my role?
- Progress – How often do I review my progress and what are my career aspirations?
- Learn & Grow – What were my most inspiring / stimulating learning opportunities in the last 6 months?
Leadership and management talent deserve to be recognised and appreciated equally. Not all leaders are great managers, and not all managers are great leaders, but both skills are essential to create a thriving organisation.