Following several posts about leadership and the potential differences with management, here is another perspective.
It could be said that leadership only ever exists between an individual and their followers. This idea survives scrutiny in many differing contexts, religious, commercial, political and educational and so may be reasonable and robust for our purposes.
Management is about the organisation and deployment of resource towards producing the given aims, goals and outcomes that are sought. In this respect it can include manufacture, systems, productivity, distribution and sales. All of these carry on independent of the conversations that go on in meetings, on e-mail and over telephone. They carry on in the background and can be unaffected by changes in personnel or structure.
And, when two people meet – with one the leader of the other – leadership leaves the room when the meeting closes.
Leadership is not independent of people, it moves with them, it cannot be disembodied or carry on without a person being present – on the call, in the meeting, over e-mail.
For more on this, consider enrolling on the next series of our Foundations of Management course, starting in February 2017, which provides the key requirements to turn managers into leaders.