What is the difference between leadership and management? Leadership is setting a new direction, creating a purpose and/or vision for everyone in an organization to follow. Management develops, controls or directs human and capital resources according to the policies, principles or values that have already been established.
Every organization needs a clearly articulated vision and purpose and it is the responsibility of leadership to provide it. Deborah Ancona, Professor of Management, MIT Sloan, outlines a framework for leadership under uncertainty that includes the following components:
First it’s “Sensemaking” which is a term coined by Karl Weick. It is about making sense of everything happening. In the very process of mapping the new terrain, you are creating it. Building on the work of Sutcliffe and Weick here are some tips for Sensemaking:
- Seek many types and sources of data;
- Involve others in your sensemaking;
- Do not simply apply your existing frameworks and overlay them on the situation;
- Move beyond stereotypes; Learn from small experiments; and Use images, metaphors, or stories to try to capture and communicate critical elements of your map.
Inquiry means the ability to listen and understand what others are thinking and feeling. It also involves trying to understand how the other person has moved from data to interpretation to assessment, rather than simply reacting to the assessment itself. It requires the leader to suspend judgment and to listen without imposing his/her personal point of view. And yet leadership requires having opinions and taking a stand.
- Understand the perspective of others within the organization and withhold judgment while listening to them;
- Encourage others to voice their opinions; Be clear about your stand and how you reached it;
- Think about how others might react to your idea
- Develop a vision about something that excites you or that you think is important;
- Frame the vision with an ideological goal; Use stories, metaphors and analogies to paint a vivid picture of what the vision will accomplish;
- Practice creating a vision in many arenas; Enable co-workers by pointing out that they have the skills and capabilities needed to realize the vision;
- and Embody the key values and ideas contained in the vision— “walk the talk.”