Leadership and Management: A Balancing Act
Organizations continue to voice concern about the shortage of skilled workers and the lack of knowledge transfer from the retiring generation to the next. These discussions emphasize the need to manage the crisis but skip the discussion around leadership. Management is present tense while leadership is future oriented. Management trains workers for current needs. Leadership looks to develop the workforce of the future. Where management is the tactical ability to steer a course through the known and current environment, leadership is the strategic ability to steer a course toward the unknown future environment. You manage things and processes. You lead people. Organizations need people who know how to do both.
Why do organizations have managers who cannot lead? Many managers start at entry-level positions, work hard and become proficient at a specific job. When leadership positions become available, these individuals are often the first considered for promotions. It is assumed that if they can manage their job well, they can lead others. Leadership and management are not completely separate skills. Nor is one more important than the other. They are both essential and they both play a part in the everyday actions you take.