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Leadership Versus Management

Leadership Versus Management

Leadership versus Management

Is one more important than the other when it comes to successfully managing projects?

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

– Peter Drucker

There are some key differences between what leaders do and what managers do. The table below lists some of
these distinctions.

Strategic

Tactical

Cope with Change

Cope with Complexity

Focus on the Future

Focus on the Present

People Oriented

Task Oriented

Drives Change

Drives Stability

Empowers People

Directs People

As you can see, there is a clear difference between leadership and management.

In the Harvard Business Review article “What Leaders Really Do” by John Kotter, he effectively summarizes this
difference by stating that management is about coping with complexity while leadership is
about coping with change
.

Good management enables you to handle complexity. This is done by…

These are all basic project management skills. In fact, one of the main purposes of
project management is to reduce the risk of complexity to allow for a greater chance of a successful outcome.

Leadership enables you to handle change effectively. This is done by…

Leadership is more important in projects that have higher levels of uncertainty or ambiguity.

For example,
projects that are in fast-changing markets, on the bleeding edge of technology, or that have powerful and
challenging stakeholders will require strong leadership capabilities in the project manager.

So, back to the original question, leadership versus management, which is more important when it comes
to managing projects successfully?

The truth is, this really isn’t a leader vs manager decision.

You need to have capabilities in both
areas
to be an effective project manager…

What Makes a Good Leader? Key Leadership Characteristics for Project Managers

Understanding what makes a good leader is important if you want to be a successful Project Manager. Learn the two key characteristics of a good leader.

Situational Leadership Theory: A Model for Project Managers

Situational leadership theory is a powerful model that project managers can use to be successful. Learn how you can determine the most effective situational leadership style to use for your situation.

Situational Leadership Model: Applying the Theory to Project Management

The Situational Leadership Model provides guidance on what type of leadership style to use and when it should be used. Learn how you can influence people you don’t have direct authority over.

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