Regardless the challenge of Finnish translations, there are surely tons of books and articles written around the world about management versus leadership – and this MIF Academy blog continues on that road to evaluate what is the difference of the two in personal experience.
MIF Academy theme of the month: Mind of a manager, soul of a leader
Topic of the week – Blooming leadership
The term “manager” is being used to describe the more thinking, rational approach to responsibility within an organization. The term “leader” is being used to suggest the feeling, intuitive approach. Both are needed, but are often seen as adversarial.
Great leaders move us; they ignite our passion and inspire the best in us. We may speak of vision or strategy or powerful ideas, but the reality is much more fundamental: great leadership works through the emotions. Even if you get strategy right, if you don’t drive emotions in the right direction, nothing you do, will work as well as it could, or should. If a leader resonates energy and enthusiasm, an organization thrives. If a leader spreads negativity and dissonance, it flounders; “toxic leadership” has the power to poison the emotional climate of a workplace, which is hard to fix with management.
Is good leadership flourishing at your workplace?
My own professional preference is a pure cocktail of management and leadership in 50-50 portion. Managing tens of projects during my career, I have tried a variety of good and bad methods to manage the substance, and yet I seem to end up with the naked truth that rules the success – people and communication skills. Even the smallest thing, simplest task is a challenging mountain to climb if the team or you are reluctant to do it, or they don’t even know that they should. We need a reason, a target, an explanation how my effort benefits a greater good – a feeling that my work has a meaning.
Inspiring people is certainly something where you need to put yourself also to the front line. Being excited gives energy to others. Still, we need some formality, planning, rational approach to be able to follow the progress of tasks at hand. This just needs to be adjusted to actual timeline and available resources – to avoid overkilling the free flow of excitement and performance.
Do you make plans or prefer to “go with the flow”?
Salla Lamberg has over 10 years of project management experience in large multinational companies. In addition she has been founding a strategic Project Management Office, gained experience about training, portfolio management, process development and leadership. She has also studied the organizational changes from many different perspectives.