Leading and Managing: A False Dichotomy

Filed under Leadership | Posted by PMStudent

Kimberly Wiefling is on a leadership blogging kick this week over at the UCSC Extension in Silicon Valley’s “Art of Project Management” blog. Manage Cows, but LEAD People talks about the difference between management and leadership. Her post points out that just because someone is in a high level management position, that doesn’t mean they act like true leaders.

Sometimes leadership and management are put forth as a false dichotomy. They are really separate activities that can exist alone or together. When I first started managing people, I remember going to leadership training and how many managers insisted they were not managers at all, but leaders. That always seemed strange to me. Why does it have to be either/or?

You can be a manager without being a leader. You can be a leader without being a manager. If you have skill in both, they can create a synergy and really get people motivated and effective. In fact, I’m not even sure you can be a truly effective leader without great management skills, and vise-versa.

What are your thoughts on how leadership and management relate to one another? Please, leave a comment!

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