For those of us who have spent some time in leadership positions it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster ride!

Over the last couple of decades training for corporate or organisational leadership has focused on managerial skills. It was felt, quietly, by some that it was culturally inept to study characteristics of passed great leaders, they had nothing to teach us; we had passed beyond that concept and the modern boss was one of the boys. The term ‘leader’ was felt to be too authoritarian to be used in our more egalitarian business society. We were now into management skills and leadership was merely co-opting approval for consensus opinions.

But events move on and maybe we had to learn some hard lessons until finally we have come to realise that management is not leadership, and in the words of David Maister many modern companies are “over managed and under lead!” Hence there has been a clear change of focus back to true leadership skills.

Perhaps we should define the differences between Leadership and Management

· The Key function of a Leader is to establish the basic vision and purpose or mission of the organisation. It is the leader’s role to implement the overall strategy to achieve the goals.

· The Key function of a Manager is to implement the vision. Managers organise resources and manpower to create action which achieves the leader’s vision and goal.

This distinction can often get blurred and while it is important to note that effective leaders are often good managers and vice versa, the distinction between the two should be clearly noted.

Extensive research conducted both in the US and the UK has developed a model which characterises effective leaders of today. They have coordinated their ideas into four key areas of successful leadership.

· Motives and Traits – these are personal characteristics which have been consistently found in effective leaders.

· Knowledge, Skills and Ability – The practical and personal skills and attitudes that leaders bring to their role.

· Creative and Visionary – The ability to see alternatives and the courage to try

· Implementation of the Vision – The requirement for success is to put the vision into action. A vision not acted upon remains just a dream, therefore a truly effective leader is able to translate their ‘dream’ into corporate reality.

There is a great difference between managing the organisation and leading it. Leadership means having the will to lead, getting the knowledge and skills to lead, making a vision to be followed and putting that vision into practice.

So if you want to know more about the four key areas of successful leadership why not contact us on to organise a presentation for your company’s leaders.

Michele @ Trischel

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