Recently I was doing a Q & A session with a wonderful ministry in South Africa called Living Hope.
There were a number of great questions, but one in particular seemed to start a longer discussion. It had been awhile since I had heard this question, but it is a question that needs to be discussed again today.
The question was this:
“I am on the management team here with management responsibilities. I am not a leader nor do I want to be one, I love my work as a manager. So why should leadership development be important to me?”
There is a wealth of literature on the differences between management and leadership, so there is no need to go over the differences. I do however think at times the differences have been over-stated.
Similarities & Differences
Here is a global view of what professionals think about the similarities and differences between Management and Leadership
Now just so you know, I am not a big fan of rules, polices, and procedures. I would much rather have people and teams have conversations. One of the problems with many organizations today is that it is easier to have a rule, policy or procedure than to have a conversation.
That being said, every organization needs some management structure. Every visionary leader must have a great manager-leader with them.
So I am not against managers at all, they are very much needed. But I think where the importance of leadership skills for a manager come in, is learning to have that conversation instead of just creating and implementing rules, policies and procedures.
Joined at the Hip
I would maintain that to be a great manager you must be a good leader. The two are uniquely linked. You need people to follow the organizational systems in place, and that requires leadership skills.
If a manger is really going to be effective with people, whom they work with every day, then they must be relationship-oriented more than results-oriented. Only when they work within relationships will they have tremendous influence and results.
A manger is just one form of leadership, just like a visionary leader.
So lead where you are with excellence!
Tom Atema is VP of Business Development at John C. Maxwell’s EQUIP organization
His passion is Biblical servant leadership development
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