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What is Leadership ?

What is Leadership ?

It would be safe to say that the definitions around what leadership is are endless. For example, Viscount Slim of Burma’s speech from ‘The Essentials of Leadership’ on the nature of leadership indicates:

“There is a difference between leadership and management. Leadership is of the spirit, compounded of personality and vision; its practice is an art. Management is of the mind, more a matter of accurate calculation, of statistics, of methods, timetables and routine; its practice is a science. Managers are necessary. Leaders are essential.”

Dee Hock, founder and CEO Emirates, VISA, comments:

“Control is not Leadership; Management is not Leadership; Leadership is Leadership”

Profound words from two profound individuals. But what does it all mean?

The common theme between both quotes is there is a difference between Leadership and Management. However, for many of us, these two roles appear to be intermingled. Regardless if this is true or otherwise, we must recognise the difference between leadership and management and be able to adapt our actions to suit each and every situation. If we do not, the results will often not be those we expected. Potentially even more harmful is when our team members that we lead, expected from us. Trust can be lost very quickly, friction points can appear(even if small in nature)and this can harmour goals, visions, profit margins and workplace cohesion.

This means we absolutely have to delineate between the two and be able to switch hats in an instant. With over 20 years of experience with leadership and management I would like to add my own definition – quite a simple definition, but one I am confident you will see is very powerful.

“Leadership involves people; Management involves processes. Managers do things right in every instance; Leaders do the right thing in every instance.” Mick Wright, The Driver of Excellence, TRANSFERENCE Founder and Lead Facilitator.
I look forward to your comments and questions to direct a deeper dive into the delineations I have provided above to best serve you, the client and community of TRANSFERENCE. Remember, the impossible is possible, it just takes a little longer to get there…