Call us on: +44 (0)1271 337 110

Annette Quinn Why it’s important to differentiate between leadership and management

There are many management training programmes available today that focus on the variety of the management role, and there are three keys aspects of management covered in most of them. These are:

  • Managing yourself
  • Managing teams
  • Managing performance

Three excellent titles that truly get to the heart of what management is about. If you’ve experienced a management programme yourself, you’ve probably encountered the Adairs Model, which is an excellent starting point for the three things a manager needs to focus on.

This topic helps managers to re-assess where they should be focusing their time, and it generates lots of great discussion.Leadership and Management

However, in a lot of cases, it usually moves away from management and very quickly onto leadership behaviours, citing behaviours such as breaking the rules and being visionary and empowering others as key, often accompanied by pictures of Obama and Steve Jobs. To first line managers! The people who are very often not in control of their own work, so will struggle to pass on control to those who work for them. It’s a tough role; pressure comes from those you manage and those who manage you and, at times, managers can feel like they are the “squeezed middle”.

Schoemaker and Russo produced a great comparison between management and leadership:







• Planning and budgeting

• Keeping an eye on the bottom line

• Creating vision and strategy

• Keeping an eye on the horizon


• Organising and staffing

• Directing and controlling

• Creating boundaries

• Creating shared culture and values

• Helping others grow

• Reducing boundaries


• Focusing on objects–producing/selling goods and services

• Based on a position of power

• Acting as boss

• Focusing on people – inspiring and motivating followers

• Based on personal power

• Acting as coach, facilitator, servant

Personal Qualities

• Emotional distance

• Expert mind

• Talking

• Conformity

• Insight into organisation

• Emotional connections (Heart)

• Open Mind (Mindfulness)

• Listening (Communication)

• Non-conformity (Courage)

• Insight into self (Integrity)


• Maintain stability

• Creates change, often radical change

With first line managers spending their time on the left hand side of this model, we are doing them an injustice by not helping them to do this right.

Granted, it might not be considered the exciting stuff,  but it is very necessary for an organisation to be successful. There needs to be a combination of management and leadership behaviours and as one moves up the organisation, the focus moves more towards the leadership skills, and away from the management skills.

Management Programmes must remember these skills and spend time focusing on helping managers get it right, and alongside this, ensure the behaviours used to do it are true, achievable leadership behaviours. What do I mean?

One-to-one discussion is a great place to start. Most organisations undertake these, whether once a year, twice a year or once a month, however, very few managers want to do them as they cannot see the real benefit of them. So, it is important to showcase this to first line managers in an actionable manner, such as:

  • Show them the link between effective one to ones and improvement in performance of business
  • Teach them how to set effective and meaningful objectives
  • Show them how to handle complete and effective conversations, giving them a checklist of what needs to be covered
  • Provide opportunities to practice on a training programme

This are all great management focused objectives, but it’s also important to:

  • Train them to put people at ease and build rapport
  • Show them how to ask effective questions and listen to answers
  • Enable them to discover how to encourage the other person to talk and set their own objectives

These may well be considered leadership behaviours, but they are ones that are relevant to their role and help to make a difference to both them and the business. These behaviours will lay a strong foundation to create the inspiring and empowering leaders of the future, whilst giving them skills that can be used as soon as they step foot in the office.

Identifying core skill requirements of a role is key to successful management. Are your first line managers really managers, or do you expect them to have leadership skills?

Scoping this out will enable you to source and deliver effective management training that works every time. To chat further about how we can help your people win the management game, get in touch with us today.

If you would like to understand about how your role as a manager influences your team, our Management Development Programme may be the perfect solution. Find out more here.



Annette Quinn, Performance Management Facilitator

In my series of blogs I will be taking a look at performance management, in particular Time Management, and providing tips on how to develop your skills.

Follow @BrayLearning

Copyright © 2016 Bray Leino Learning

Tagged in:

Other posts you may be interested in

/Stephanie Morgan Has leadership development turned into a balancing act?

Wednesday October 31, 2018

Leadership is a global hot topic right now - from women’s leadership, the need for leaders to create a sustainable future, to the effects of five different generations on the workforce, it seems that leadership is being pulled in several different directions. This leaves L&D dealing with a balancing act when it comes to creating a learning solution that responds to all the challenges a leader might face.

Read More

/Stephanie Morgan Prioritising soft skills – isn’t it about time?

Wednesday August 22, 2018

It’s likely you are already starting to notice a shift in demand for soft skills training in your organisation. And we think it’s about time. Organisations able to perform in areas such as communication, collaboration and emotional intelligence are likely to experience two times the growth, profitability and success compared with organisations lacking in those areas.

Read More