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Leadership and Management

Leadership Diagram

Leadership Diagram

What is often commonly said about good leaders is that they tend to stand out and get noticed, have the ability to communicate, and can identify and steer people along a particular path. In short, they have often played a part in helping people to see a future goal (and often at least one way of getting there). In this sense, leadership then isn’t something reserved for “the chosen”, the “special” or the “great” – leadership is something that is offered to people and organizations both large and small every day by every day people. Leadership is consequently something that is real and practical, something that everyone in an organization can and should provide, and something that can be developed by every person, regardless of their title, “innate” abilities or past experience.

So, how is leadership different from the older and more general term of management? The writer Peter Drucker thought that a leader had to have followers, get results, set an example for others to follow and is ultimately responsible for what happens. This is a reasonable start but also tends to describe much of the management role, too (being very much a results focused view of the world). The term management” here often relates to “controlling” and this can apply to people as well as things like plant or equipment for example. Leadership, on the other hand, tends to be concerned with relating to people and often describes how and when individuals are given direction or focus and are aligned to a particular goal. Simply put: Leadership tends to be more strategic and Management tends to be more tactical.

Although there are a number of ways to distinguish the difference between a leader and a manager at a detail level, one simple but compelling and successful way that it is done today is to suggest that managers are more concerned with the past and present and leaders with the present and future (of course linking and overlapping in terms of the present or what needs doing today in combination). The leadership writers Buckingham and Coffman (in “First, Break All the Rules”) go one step further in stating that managers tend to look inward at people (intrinsic motivation and style differences) and leaders tend to look outward (at competition, future goals to be attained and the external world in general and how an impact can be made upon it).

Although it is by no means definitive, the leadership diagram shown here include six keys steps that every leader needs to take. Starting at the top right and moving clockwise, these are to Learn, Empower, Assess, Decide, Evaluate and Review. Each of these is usually followed progressively and iteratively and to help us to remember the overall process, each letter of the six steps spells the word “LEADER”.

The Leadership Checklist in the centre of the diagram poses some key questions can be used to make any one person’s leadership qualities.

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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