Simon Terry

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Leadership & Management

A dichotomy of leadership and management is not particularly useful. We need both. We also need to move beyond seeing these concepts as being fixed hierarchical statuses.

At the moment there seems to be a flood of articles and other content about the difference between leaders and managers. The general themes are that leaders are inspiring and people focused will managers are mechanical and fearsome. This content assumes both leaders and managers are hierarchically superior to their teams and that these two concepts are distinct statuses.

Both management and leadership are required in the future of work. However we need these concepts to mean exercise of the respective verbs, not a group of people holding a status. We need to recognise that the practices of leading and managing are our choices to get our work done. We need to manage our information, resources and relationships to achieve outcomes. We also need to lead others when we influence them to support our work.

Discussing leaders vs managers as hierarchical concepts takes us simply to better managers. The bigger issue is moving beyond leadership vs management. We need more of both. The issue is how we move beyond fixed titles like leader and manager that don’t reflect how we all get work done. We need everyone engaged in both leadership and management. A greater depth of leadership and management in our organisations will better enable us individually and collectively to create needed change.


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