Thursday, May 10, 2007

Define leadership. Is it the same as managing?

Leadership is about exhibiting personal qualities that attract other people to follow. Followers decide what they find attractive, depending upon their needs and the situation. The leader's challenge is to express him/herself in a way that is appealing to the people s/he wants to engage with.

Managing is exercising control over things including people. The possibility for control arises because, often in an employment agreement, a person has agreed to let someone else control their activities, within some framework, in return for payment.

Managers control their subordinates. Leaders attract their followers.

Managing and leading are similar in that:
1. Managers and Leaders influence others and
2. Subordinates and followers agree to be influenced in return for something they want.

Managing and leading are dissimilar in that:
1. Managing occurs in a relationship framework of objective, cause and effect, negotiated agreements for the implementation or execution of specific objectives. Managers tend to focus subordinates' energies on specific tasks by restricting their subordinate's freedom of choice and this is why being managed can feel like an imposition.
2. Leading occurs in the realm of subjective motivations and values. Good leaders tend to inspire people to find the motivation to do things they might not have believed they could accomplish and in this way increase their followers freedom.

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