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June 11, 2019

Do you want to be a leader or a manager?

This question has always annoyed me, and here’s why.

I have always found it fascinating how these words are used in business. We start as ‘team leaders’ become ‘managers’ and then hopefully end up as part of the ‘leadership team’. If you read a text about leadership, it will inevitably interchange leadership for management & the same will happen if you read management texts.

Much of the education & training industry insists on reinforcing old paradigms such as:

“Management is Doing Things Right, Leadership is Doing the Right Things.”

“Leaders have people follow them while managers have people who work for them.”

“Managers tell. Leaders sell”

These all imply that the concept of management is somehow basically flawed and is no doubt a legacy of the industrial era and poor management.

Everyone wants to be a leader, no one wants to be a manager.

Shouldn’t we be both? Could this insistence of separating management from leadership be contributing to the challenges we see globally with engagement, sustainability, ethics, well-being?

I think its time to move to a new paradigm. After all for organisations to attract and retain great staff the only option is to truly integrate leadership and management development.  Maybe its time for a whole new word .. Managership? Leadager? OK maybe not 

What are you thoughts?

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