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24 Mar 2011

Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part III)

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Leadership vs. Management: The Difference

Leadership is about people, and management about things. Management will tend to objectify people as resources (i.e. human resources) and rely more heavily on authority from the organization. Thus, management manages all resources given to it by the organization not just people.

Figure 2: Holes (Unknowns)

Figure 1: Emotional Driver

We cannot make a similar connection between these things and leadership since leadership is an emotional connection that the member has for the leader. Things can’t have emotional connections to managers.

By delving deeper into this connection, we can more easily see how leadership differs from management. Figure 1 shows the emotional driver a member will have for the leader on a subconscious level. The member and leader are different people as denoted by the different colors. However, no member can ever know a leader completely, so holes in a member’s knowledge of the leader will exist as Figure 2 shows.

Figure 3: Fill (Member’s Likes)

Figure 4: Blend (Perception)

These “holes” produce emotional vacuums that need filling. If the member likes the leader, he will imbue the leader with qualities he likes (Figure 3). These qualities blend with the ones the member knows to produce Figure 4, which is essentially the member’s perception of the leader.

Consequently, what motivates the member is not the leader but his perception of the leader. From the leader’s perspective, she is really two people: the one she knows as herself and the other that the member knows. Every member will have a slightly different perception. Thus, the leader must not only manage herself, but also manage the perception others have of her.

In essence then, leadership is the interpersonal aspect of management. Since we do not need to be managers to be leaders, leadership becomes the interpersonal aspect of any job. Therefore, tapping the power of personality is more the domain of leadership than management.


Series Navigation<< Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part II)Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part IV) >>

2 Responses

  1. jlm2011

    Hi Mike,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog articles, especially the ones on Leadership vs. Management. I’d be curious as to your thoughts on how one determines whether they are a manager or a leader. I’ve often thought of myself as a leader and I believe the people working for me always thought of me as a leader. But I sensed that people above me and perhaps some of my peers, did not feel I was a leader. Is there a way to objectively determine this?

    Also, I’d be curious what your thoughts are on Emotional Intelligence and whether you feel there is a way to objectively measure EI and if it is a measure of Leadership.

    1. Thank you, jlm2011, for the comment. Your questions are great and deserve some elaboration. They would make very good posts, so I’ll respond to them in three different ones. I’ll link this comment to them as they are published.

      Questions related to how to determine if your a leader or a manager:
      Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part IV)
      Question related to emotional intelligence and leadership:
      Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
      Question related to the tensions between leaders and managers:
      Leadership vs. Management: The Difference (Part V)

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