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Leadership vs. Management

Traditionally, Management is described as:

  • The process of identifying and agreeing on goals, sourcing the resources required to achieve them, design, organisation, controlling and directing activities, and motivating and rewarding individuals to complete the required work.

On the other hand, Leadership is described as:

  • The process of looking beyond the constraints presented, and instead of striking out in new directions, breaking boundaries, creating new ideas, taking risks, and influencing the thoughts and beliefs of others in order to innovate and develop.

Peter Farey (1993) took this a step further, identifying two extra dimensions in which Leaders and Managers can act. He suggested that Leaders can either be:

  1. The individual at the front, doing what they do best - succeeding at a task.
  2. Someone who can inspire followers

The Farey Framework of Leadership and Management

Farey subsequently developed a practical Leadership vs. Management model (below) in which he used the context of Task vs. People (or Relationships) to develop an extra dimension in which to compare the two, and the various style or approaches which can be employed by individuals in a position of responsibility.

The model itself is designed to represent both attitudes and behaviours displayed by responsible individuals. 

  • Attitudes refer to whether they veer towards the points of any of the four axes of leadership, management, tasks, and people. 
  • The individual items listed in each of the quadrants created by the axes are the leadership behaviours.

Above the horizontal midline, leaders can be found - individuals showing a desire for new, radical ideas. These people wish to be unique and revolutionary, challenging the current constraints and existing mechanisms for change. 

Below it, managers lie, focussing instead on achieving results by utilising and building upon what already exists. These individuals focus on smooth operation, striking for efficiency and productivity in all that they and their team do.

Leaders vs. Managers Model

Task/People/Leadership/Management GridTo the right of the vertical midline, People Leaders and People Managers can be found. 

Whereas to the left, Task Leaders and Task Managers can be found. 

  • Those on the Task side have a prime concern for production and output - getting results based on specific deadlines and constraints. 
  • Those on the People side instead display an interest in their people and look to develop relationships with their followers in order to motivate them.

Each of these comes with its own unique traits and behaviours, which are often suited to individual situations. Though some may find themselves primarily drawn to specific behaviours, it is sometimes suitable to interchange these depending on the scenario and team members presented to you.

  • Each of these behaviours can, in Farey's model, be mapped to specific areas within each quadrant dependent on the levels of each attribute required. 
He discussed each individual behaviour in detail, including models and suggestions on how to use them to achieve the best results in any given situation.

People Leadership

People Leadership is focused on the idea of inspiring others to succeed. 

  • The more that one engages with others on an individual level - their needs, wants and motivations - the more they are likely willing to succeed. 
  • This spirit of inspiration can serve as the fuel which drives an organisation or team to new heights.

The idea of People Leadership is intricately related to charisma. If we think historically, we often think of individuals who, using their personality, are able to create a sense of followership - others want to work for them, regardless of their arguments (though, this obviously can also end in disaster).

  • Some individuals can be guilty of overdoing the 'hype' - so much that it is unrealistic and demotivating. 
However, the sense of building rapport with team members - identifying the aspects of your personality most suited to bringing motivation out of them - will always be more successful than not. 

This is not necessarily an innate trait - though it often can be - others have to learn how to bring the best out of others by first bringing the best out of themselves.

Task Leadership

Task Leadership is often referred to as the entrepreneurial aspect of management. 

  • People Leadership focuses on collaboration and followers, whereas Task Leadership focusses on success; coming first; winning. 
  • Task Leaders focus on finding the constraints that have been identified by the Task Manager and defeating these constraints to achieve the desired results.

The Task Leader wishes to search for new and innovative solutions, objects and processes which do not yet exist; whereas Task Managers try only to improve those things which already exist. 

  • The Task Leader is perfectly happy to challenge the things that are currently acceptable or within policy - the Task Manager tends to remain within any external constraints. 
  • Task Managers only focus on issues within their area of work, their team, or their departments; whilst Task Leaders also keep an eye elsewhere, examining external forces, influences and innovation. 
  • Similarly, Task Leaders have an eye on the future; Task Managers only focus on the present.

However, balance is once again required - too little Task Leadership and the status quo will always remain so. On the flip-side, too much Task Leadership and the individual can become obsessed with winning - so much so that other departments, teams and managers become competitors and will not be on the receiving end of any support or collaborative opportunity.