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Dale Clancy 2 articles
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Lessons Learned are the knowledge gained during a project which can be used as references and points of interest for future projects. Lessons learned shows how project events were addressed or should be addressed in the future to improve future response.

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Leadership and Management Gap analysis

Having been fortunate to studying under Ronan Carberry from UCC last year; I was inspired by the dichotomy between Management and Leadership. This research I would like to share with you.

Ronan Carbery is Senior Lecturer in Management in the School of Management and Marketing at University College Cork, Ireland.

So, what is Leadership?

Well, Mullins says it well when she wrote “There is a close relationship between leadership and management, especially in work organisations, and an increasing tendency to see them as synonymous. However, arguably there are differences between the two and it does not follow that every manager is a leader” (Mullins, 2007, p. 396).

What Mullins defines compliments my research to date concluding that there are managers and there are leaders and the most successful companies gain competitive advantage by ensuring their managers are leaders, this interlacing produces leader managers. This amalgamation ensures the gap in organisations is bridged by developing leaders to managers. Ignoring this gap can adversely have a negative impact on the performance of the organisation in relation to its competitors.

What distinguishes a leader from a manager? Firstly, lets identify what the role of a manager is. Management consists of the rational assessments of a situation and the systematic selection of goals and purposes(what is to be done?); the systematic development of strategies to achieve these goals; the marshalling of the required resources, the rational design, organization, direction, and control of the activities required to attain the selected purposes. (Levitt, 1976). Theodore eludes to the fact that managers are appointed and at the foremost of the role are given authority to delegate, their primary role is concerned with responsibility of entities.

Leaders, on the other hand, are active instead of reactive, shaping ideas and adopting a personal attitude toward goals. (Zaleznik, 1977), they add value by using their emotional intelligence.

“emotional intelligence is the sine qua non of leadership.... Without it, a person can have the best training in the world, an incisive analytic mind, and an endless supply of smart ideas, but he still won’t make a great leader” (Rahman and Uddin, 2016).

Differences between leadership and management

The fact that leaders can have no reports means the transactional authority is not being invoked and thus solely operating with a leadership characteristic. Managers who do not lead are similarly solely using one source of characteristics. Carbery & Garavan elude to this fact when they refer to Bennis & Nanus (2003) view that the two concepts of leading and managing are separate (Carbery, R. & Garavan, T. N., 2012).

Rahman and Uddin, (2016) identifies the manager is the person who applies management function: they word and apply development strategies, they make the forecast and the plans; they organise and coordinate the work; they insure a proper climate to performance.

Managers are linked to some action verbs: to do, to develop, to interfere, to manage, to control, to correct etc.

Leaders are linked to the verb to change. It is one of their characteristics the fact that they can identify the correct hierarchy priorities, the leader has to be seen as an assembly of attributes of the role a person has in the group. Management firstly deals with the complexity of the problem. Leadership solves the changes problem.

A leader manager will lead using communications, visions, insuring the group's direction of the action; an administrator manager will lead by action and direct participation, by strict rules and with reduced vision.

Management is more concerned with planning and organising, whereas leadership is concerned with creating, coping with change (Kotter, 1988).

A manager can also be a leader for when a manager does things which appear in the leadership list above, then they are leading as well as managing. Similarly, if a leader is doing items from eh leadership alone and does not have the authority to execute management skills they could be leading from within the team.

James Scouller has an additional and helpful viewpoint on the distinction between leadership and management: He says:

"Leadership is more about change, inspiration, setting the purpose and direction, and building the enthusiasm, unity and 'staying-power' for the journey ahead. Management is less about change, and more about stability and making the best use of resources to get things done... But here is the key point: leadership and management are not separate. And they are not necessarily done by different people. It's not a case of, 'You are either a manager or a leader'. Leadership and management overlap..."  (Scouller, 2011, p.25).

This differential analysis will allow more clearly to identify the leaders in managers and to argue that organisations who do not recognise leadership as a differentiator are supporting the gap analysis argument.

Gap analysis

“The leadership team is the most important asset of the company and can be its worst liability.”

(Med Jones, 2005, p.1)

It is being increasingly recognised that all managers including first line supervisors, need at some level to be leaders and to understand the concept of leadership (Cross and Carbery, 2016).

Cross and Carbery (2016) elude to the fact that organisations need to promote and include managers who are leaders in the organisation to gain advantage. Leadership education for managers should be supported by organisations. Fortunately, I have worked for such companies and individuals who are innovative and lead in their fields.

There are many forms of leadership styles and managers can adopt these styles. Some of the most common forms are classified as authorisation, democratic and genuine style. leadership theories also exist the main three being trait, behavioural and situational contingency theories. The description of these is beyond the scope of this report but are very interesting reflections and studies.

My analysis mirrors Cross and Carbery’s (2016) view, that leadership development is an important organisational activity that is critical to organisational success, arguing that development interventions combined with experience are necessary to create effective leaders.

Programmes such as leadership development need to be supported by organisations. Leadership development interventions provide potential leaders with frameworks within which to examine leadership situations and give them the opportunity to use multiple perspectives in addition to their existing skillset (Cross and Carbery, 2016). As according to a survey by the chartered Management Institute, the power to inspire is rated highest among desirable leadership qualities. A detailed survey of more than 1500 practising managers in a broad cross-section of organisations found that the key characteristics that leaders should ideally possess, inspiration, was identified by 55% of managers. However, most leaders appeared to lack this characteristic, with only 11% of respondents saying they experienced this in reality (Mullins, 2007).

One of the most important things HR organisations should do is to make sure that the organisation has a ready supply of strong, well-aligned leaders. Leadership development (which is more than a $14 billion industry) remains a high priority for HR and continues to be a challenge every year (Bersin, 2016).

Leadership gap has been analysed and statistically represented. In a study of primary health care teams identified deficiencies in the following competencies: communication, team building, planning and priority setting, assessing performance, problem solving, and leading.

A survey of 177 medical residents revealed that 85% reported a need for management training in negotiation, practice partnerships, knowledge of the health care system, and career planning. Similarly, a survey of 23 Baylor University surgical residents found that more than 50% believed that they had, at best, an average ability to inspire others, to help others improve performance, and to challenge the status quo. (Blumenthal et al., 2012).

Implicit assumptions associated with this approach are that good leadership can be learnt by anyone who undertakes the right education or development activities, and that providing more high quality education and development opportunities and experiences will, in time, give rise to improvements in leader behaviours (Örtenblad et al., 2016).

A consensus among leading business thinkers is that the leadership capacity gap has become mission critical. However, many executives either are not focusing on this issue or are not satisfied with current leadership developmental approaches. Research suggests that many organisations are struggling to bridge the leadership gap. What also is clear is that if this gap is not addressed, organisations may jeopardize their ability to remain competitive in the future.

Other research has resulted similar findings. For example, the conference board in the United States found that senior leaders believe their organisations have a serious leadership capacity gap. In 1997 only about half of the respondents to the conference board survey rated their company’s leadership strength as excellent or good. In 2001, the results declined sharply. Only four years later only a third of respondents rated their companies leadership capacity as excellent or good (Weiss and Molinaro, 2010).

According to a survey by the Chartered Management Institute I am subscribed to, the power to inspire is rated highest among desirable leadership skills. A survey of managers found that the key characteristic a leader should possess is inspiration, identified by 55% of managers. According to Mullins (2007) most leaders appear to lack this characteristic with 11% of respondents saying they experienced this in practice.

The CMI survey displayed an inspirational gap in leadership across UK. “it is now accepted that for the UK to maintain its competitiveness there is growing need for companies to adopt strategies that will enable a greater level of innovation” (Mullins, 2007, p.384).


In conclusion, I critically analysed theories of leadership, practice of leadership and determined that gaps exist exposing companies to competitive challenges.



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Published at pmmagazine.net with the consent of Dale Clancy
Source of the article: {Linkedin} on [2018-12-20]