Leadership and management: what’s the difference?

Leadership and management: what’s the difference?

It’s more than 40 years since Abraham Zalenzick, in a now classic Harvard Business Review article, asked the question, Managers and Leaders. Are They Different? 1 His conclusion was that ‘yes’, they were, and quite fundamentally so. Decades of debate have followed as leadership and management as distinct, if complementary, practices have been compared, contrasted and scrutinised through innumerable theories, frameworks and lenses. Zaleznik’s fundamental point was that leadership was a creative process requiring imagination and an appetite for risk and uncertainty. Management by contrast tended to seek stability, order and control. And it is this polarity that has been at the heart of the management/leadership debate ever since.

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