Each week as part of our Thursday Thoughts series of blogs, we’ve been taking a look at how we can be the best possible version of ourselves.  This week we’re shining the spotlight on the difference between leadership and management.

There are many definitions of the words, ‘leadership’ and ‘management’, so when in doubt, the easiest way to find out their true meaning is to go way back to the derivative of the words.

Leadership comes from the Anglo-Saxon word, ‘leader’, or the road ahead, or route.  So, a leader is someone who takes people on the road ahead.  During the winter months the great lake between Canada and the US, the St. Lawrence Seaway, freezes over.  In order to keep the shipping lanes open, icebreaking ships are used and the term they use for the crack in the ice is the ‘lead’.  Leadership is about taking people and showing them the route ahead; the crack in the ice.

Management is a totally different discipline and skill.  The word ‘management’ comes from the French word ‘ménage’ or ‘to handle horses’ (from the Latin ‘manus’). It is the art of breeding and handling horses, which was man’s prime asset for hundreds of years.  In the American Wild West, if you stole another person’s horse it was a hanging offence as you would effectively be removing the person’s prime asset.  So, management is the art of being ‘hands on’ and managing the assets that you have.  

Do your leadership and management skills lead to success or is it time for a revamp? 

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