Leadership – A specific function…

Leadership can be seen as a function with its own activities, different from management. These two functions are not in competition with each other; on the contrary, they are complementary and necessary to the company’s performance: management manages complexity, leadership manages change.

J. Kotter classifies management activities into three categories (in the tradition of H. Fayol):

  • Planning and budgeting (e.g. setting objectives)
  • Organising and assigning people
  • Controlling and problem solving

The leadership function, on the other hand, is made up of three other categories:

  • Setting the direction: providing a forward-looking, long-term vision of the business, serving the interests of its stakeholders
  • Aligning employees: communicating and transmitting this direction so that employees follow it
  • Motivating employees: knowing how to mobilise energies with a view to overcoming the obstacles to change

The activities of each of these functions are interlinked.
In other words, a manager can be a leader, but not necessarily.
A leader can be a manager, but not necessarily.

An operational manager sometimes finds it difficult to take on all these functions, being caught up in the day-to-day management activities defined by Fayol above. The leadership function certainly requires you to step back from the day-to-day.

And you, what are the functions in which you predominate, if you predominate at all?

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