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leadership and management


Can anyone help I have a presentation to make for an interview this the subject and I'm struggling I really need this job. The post is a manager of housing support.

6 Responses

  1. Some thoughts ..
    Hi Joan, I looked at this subject when I wrote a leadership course some years ago and looked at the differences between the two elements. This summarises the main points:

    Leaders look upwards to the horizon
    Managers look down towards the bottom line
    Leaders do the right things
    Managers do things right
    Leadership is about achieving results through people
    Management is about achieving results
    Leadership refers to leading
    Management refers to handling

    Leadership – root of word is `lead’ meaning go, travel, guide.
    Therefore there is a sense of movement
    Management – root origin of manage is the word meaning `hand’.
    Therefore handling things, maintaining order, organisation and control
    The critical difference between management and leadership is
    reflected in the root meanings of the two words – the difference
    between what it means to handle things and what it means to go

    Also bear in mind that whilst we’d expect leaders to show exemplary
    behaviour leadership doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with `doing’
    good things. Hitler for example was a great leader but was what he
    did necessarily good? If you’d like some more info just let me
    know. 🙂

  2. Leadership & Management
    Hi Joan. In my opinion they are one and the same. ALL Managers, irrespective of their level of seniority or job function are leaders in their own right. So you need to be careful when defining what type of leader you are talking about i.e. an Alan Sugar, or a Team Leader on a production line.

    Effective leaders and Managers at any level share the same charactaristics. If you want more specific detail, give me a shout.

    Frank Maguire

  3. Interesting thoughts …
    Interesting comments from Frank. 🙂 Looking at information on the web based on John Adair’s excellent work it would seem he makes a distinction between the two elements. This link – mentions a clear distinction between leadership and management. Additionally this link also states leadership is different from management. And it was in fact Adair’s work which helped me to write the leadership course for a previous employer. The debate rumbles on …. 🙂

  4. It’s a great question and a hoary chestnut !
    You would have thought, having over a hundred years post-industrial revolutionary research and books written on the topic, we would be able to give you a simple answer to what superficially seems a simple question! Forgive the ramble and I will try to be helpful.

    About a million years ago I was doing an orientation job with the United Nations, recruiting senior civilian managers for deployment into dangerous UN mission areas to rebuild civil infrastructure after civil wars. This was my first ‘proper brief’, I had to recruit someone to be the head of mission security, the equivalent of a Chief Constable in the UK.

    I had selected 3 short list candidates, an FBI Deputy Director who had worked for many years in the US Justice Department; a Deputy Chief Constable from a UK constabulary; and an Interpol commander who was also responsible for a crime district in a then east European country.

    On paper the Yank and Brit looked favourites, but there was something intriguing about the resume of the East European. Accompanied by my ‘handler’ we set off from New York, New York (so good they really did name it twice) headquarters of the UN and met first with the Yank. Great person, charming, knowledgeable, qualified and yet… One of the things that set an alarm bell ringing in my head was that their office was immaculate, not surprising for a senior law enforcement officer you would think, but it was more than that.

    The way that the persons own people spoke to the person when they met with us, something not quite right. Then onto the UK, again great person, exceptionally well qualified, etc. But again the way their own people interacted with them set an alarm bell ringing in my head. Sitting at Heathrow later that day my minder said to me “well I think you are going to have a difficult job choosing between the two of them”, to which I said I would have to reserve judgement on that until I had interviewed the last candidate. We arrived via four interconnecting flights at our destination airport.

    On landing the captain asked everyone to remain seated and asked for me and my colleague to make our way to the exit – which was a bit of a surprise! As the doors opened we could see at the bottom of the steps 4 black Mercedes limousines, replete with completely blacked out windows and discreet but obvious blie lights flashing.

    A dark suit, sunglass wearing heavy with an earpiece asked me and my colleague for our passports and to get into the 3rd vehicle. When I asked about bags he said, in perfect English, “We have made special arrangements for you Sir, don’t sweat the small stuff!” to which both me and my colleague burst out laughing, albeit mostly nervous laughter.

    Moments later we were sweeping though streets with police motorcycle outriders stopping traffic as we went. “So this is what it must feel like to be a head of state” I said to my colleague, to which he made no response but looked worried!

    We were driven underground into what appeared to be a relatively small office building from the outside, but you couldn’t help but notice the various levels of armed security that we had to pass through to actually get into the building. Then we were in a lift and shortly thereafter the doors opened into a huge, and I mean huge, room that was full of people, phone ringing, radios blaring, and activity.

    We walked to the end of the room and were ushered into a large office with darkened (judging by the thickness bullet proofed and mirrored) windows and two desks in an otherwise empty office, containing only one typical managers desk, one filing cabinet, and a large conference type round desk that could probably seat 20 people.

    We sat on the functional chars and were offered ‘tea’ and ‘coffee’, and given apologies that our person was running a ‘little late’, but would be with us in the next 20 minutes. 15 minutes later a very tall person walked into the room with several people in tow all chattering to each other and to the person, when they saw us they immediately stopped talking, our person said something obviously funny as they all burst out laughing, and they left and the door was closed.

    This was someone very comfortable in their own skin, charming, eloquent and confident, but not in a brash way. The words self-assured would probably best describe them. After the pleasantries and apologies for the theatrical reception (which we later learnt was for our own security and safety!), we got down to the interview itself.

    It was going well, and I was getting to gain an undersanding of the complexities of the person and the challenges that they faced. Daily under threat of assassination by the mafia and criminal underworld, the person and their family were under constant 24/7 guard and were effectively prisoners in their own home because of the person’s job. And then my colleague, who had said ery little on any of the previous interviews, asked the very same question that you posed. “So how would you describe your leadership and management style?”

    This threw me, because the questioning to that point had been deep and meaningful and this seemed like a curve ball.

    Unflustered, the person got up and walked to the window, “that’s a great question” they said, and after a few moments, clearly reflecting on the question, the person spun round and said “this is my office, and “ (pointing at the desk in the room) “when I sit behind there I am a manger, now follow me” and with that they went to the door and opened it onto the bedlam that was on the other side.

    We walked to the centre of the room, with almost everyone wanting to talk to the person and they responding to all and sundry as we went. In the middle of what seemed chaos there was a large circular desk, cut out in the middle, with a chair on wheels, so that whoever was sitting there could spin around and talk and see everyone in the room. As we approached the person pointed at the chair and said “and when I am in this room and when I sit there, I am a leader”.

    So in summary, and forgive the ramble, management is a formal function of bestowed authority, whereas leadership is a behaviour that enables someone to influence without the use of that formal authority – and, despite popular myth, anyone can be a leader, they do not need to have it in the job title – go work in a Matrix organisation!

    I doubt that helps you, but it did bring back to me a very fond memory, oh, and yes, SHE did get the job and the Yank and Brit men did’nt !

    With regards to your interview, perhaps to describe the ‘ying’ and ‘yang’ of the two in one would be the approach (because as other commentators have far more articulately described, as they really are two sides of the same (individual person) coin).

    Perhaps you can highlight aspects of your role where you have had to perform transactional management tasks, maybe had to perform a functionary process like give someone a poor grade in a performance management review. Describe the collation of evidence and facts, the clinical assessment, and the procedural preparation. Then (if you have had such an experience) describe how you behaviourally re-energised and motivated the person to see beyond the current situation, to what they could be, to what you want and would like them to be.

    That will probably set you apart from the ‘management is transactional and leaderships transformational’ people who have probably never lead people in their lives to know what the real difference actually is!

    Hope that is more helpful !!

    With kind and sincere regards,

    With kind and sincere regards


  5. What is Leadership? What is the Difference Between Leadership a
    I’m sorry Joan about the delay in responding to your very important questions: ‘What is leadership?’ ‘What is the difference between leadership and management?’ And: ‘How would you evidence this in the workplace? I was away for the most part of June. It is probably too late to help you with your interview, nevertheless, I think it highly unlikely that such question could be answered within the confines of any comment page.

    Nevertheless I am at present writing a series of blogs on my website: relating to the distinction between what is generally understood as ‘leadership’ and ‘management’. You will also find an answer, not to the question of: ‘What is Leadership?’ Rather to the question: ‘Is leadership understood and being exercised throughout the enterprise?’

    I’m afraid that the innumerable books, websites and management courses etc., devoted to leadership have not answered the question of ‘What is leadership?’ Instead, they simply talk about this, or that kind, of ‘leadership’, not whether leadership is being understood and exercised?

    I hope you find the website of help in your quest for answers relating to leadership and its exercise.

    Eugene Gallagher

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