Leadership versus management

Published on September 29, 2021   8 min

A selection of talks on Management, Leadership & Organisation

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Hello everybody. This is Gordy Curphy from Curphy Leadership Solutions. Today's presentation is on leadership versus management.
There have been a number of debates about the differences between leadership and management. You constantly are going to hear things like, Shirley is a great leader, Olly is a great manager, or people saying, I'm a leader, not a manager. Leadership is popularly acknowledged to be better or superior to management. But is it really? Are people really describing two different things? Are there real differences between leadership and management? Let's see if we can further clarify these two concepts.
What is management? How is it usually conceptualized? Most of the time when people are thinking about management or thinking about such terms like planning, organizing, scheduling, coordinating, budgeting, monitoring, delegating. Some examples of management behaviors might be a Starbucks store manager determining work shifts for the next two weeks, senior leaders setting policies for remote work, moms and dads coordinating work schedules to take kids to soccer practice or to figure out who's going to be working with their children as they're home from school, or it may be something like monitoring Internet traffic to a website after a new marketing initiative has been launched. Those are the behaviors that are typically associated with management.
What is leadership and how is leadership usually conceptualized? When people think about leadership, a lot of times you're thinking about visioning, challenging the way things have always been done, such as the status quo, inspiring and motivating other people, setting goals and expectations, coaching, mentoring, building teams. Behaviors associated with this might be something like a new CEO defining a vision for the future, somebody starting up a brand new business like Instagram or SpaceX, implementing a disruptive business model like Uber or Lyft or TikTok, motivating people to take action. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and across the rest of the world, motivating people to take action against racial injustice. It may be something as simple as teaching somebody how to operate a ski lift, or operate another piece of equipment, or reviewing a loan application. These are the behaviors that make up leadership.