Someone who has developed good management skills may not necessarily make a great leader. Leadership development means being able to establish solid relationships built on trust and respect so that others are prepared to follow your lead. To do that you first have to understand those you intend to lead.
If you look at management development, it is much more about processes, procedures and measurable results. Many of the skills required to become a good manager can be learned. Measuring and quantifying the results of sound management practices is much easier when results are based on production levels and targets that have been achieved.
On the other hand, some schools of thought believe that leading people is not a subject that can be taught to students. They believe that leading qualities are inherent and that true leaders are born not created. Other schools believe that leaders can be developed in ways that will allow individuals to strengthen their qualities and put them to better use.
Many great leaders who have been recorded down through history may not have been well-educated and many possessed little, if any taught management skills. However, they automatically assumed the role of leadership and their position and role as a leader was accepted, often without question or challenge. They were the individuals prepared to make the hard decisions and consciously or unconsciously demanded the trust and respect of others.
How a leader interacts with individual members of their group may be different. A good leader knows the strengths and weaknesses of individual members, and adjusts their approach to that person accordingly. In that way, they can ensure that everyone is motivated, supported and will strive to do their best to achieve optimum results.
Leaders can benefit from honing their management skills. A sound understanding of process and procedures within a business allows a leader to make informed and knowledgeable decisions quickly. Leaders are perhaps the conscience of the business and are responsible for its direction.
There is little doubt that if you look to some of the famous leaders who have lived and some who still lead they may be considered charismatic and natural leaders. If you look closely you will recognize that there are several different leadership styles. Not all of which would work well in a business situation. Leadership development is about recognizing your own unique style and whether you are making the most of the leadership opportunities. Assess how your management style impacts on others.
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