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Management Vs. Leadership

Written by: Dr. Hynd Bouhia, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Leadership and Management are different!

Leadership and management are two different things. We have been taught how to run organizations, businesses and structures by doing things repetitively and by following detailed processes. At different levels of the corporate ladder, jobs are done repetitively.

Leadership is different from Management as it brings more to the repetitive actions that management dictates and to the authority that it uses. Leadership is also based on finding new ways to move forward. It is about using innovation in every step on the way and in every facet of the organization.

Management goes back to Henri Ford

Management goes back to the start of the car industry. Henri Ford was the pioneer in setting up industry lines where the jobs consisted on repeating the same tasks over and over in an indefinite manner. With repetition, efficiency increased and people were paid monthly salaries for the repetitive tasks they did.

The industrial revolution was based on the repetition of tasks and on making the system work more and more efficiently. During those times, it was discovered that big factories were more efficient than small ones. Thus, management came out continuously with more efficient business engineering to produce more repetitively the required task.

Management was based on a top-down approach perfectly fit with everything that factories and industries were making. If the approach worked for cars’ parts as designed by Henri Ford, it also worked for everything else that is produced, such as sweets and chocolate factories, toys, consumable goods and textile, and many other manufacturing lines of products.

The secret is that repetitive production lines do not improvise. They do not change the type of products they are making even if the sales were slowing down. You will never see a chocolate factory, making ketchup to try a new product in the market. They only know how to make the same product in a repetitive manner.

Managers use authority to make sure that the repetitive work is being done. Managers need to tell people what to do continuously. While leaders need to take responsibility of what is happening in their organization, in their business and for everything they do. They function differently.

But what happens is that most of the managers have trouble stopping being managers and starting being a leader. Being a leader means that you drive your team and the organization and the business you are in charge towards an ambitious result and you do it together. You use words such as let’s go and let’s do it; instead of the traditional “do this”.

Management gets challenged when the world changes

As the world continues to change, traditional management can no longer be applied.

In fact, management can no longer follow the processes and carry on the old repetitive tasks. In most cases, traditional management fails. Because, management does not know how to do things differently and to adapt to the circumstances by being creative and innovative.

When the pandemic hit, managers in the tourism industries, in restaurants, in entertainment, in transports felt it firsthand. Things needed to change. Some sectors showed leadership skills by creating new products and new services. That is when restaurants launched delivery services, bringing a whole different set of skills.

Other noticeable changes happened through the digital revolution. Newspapers and magazines were no longer sold in paper format which affected the whole chain of production and distribution.

Other changes have been felt with climate changes and their environmental impacts on the fishing industries, as well as other sectors of the economy.

The world is changing faster than ever before, the economy is changing, the business of making money is changing. Thus, the old management style can no longer be adaptable. We cannot manage our way out of the many impacts the world is living. We need to lead!

But schools did not prepare us for that!

Schools and education are not the same. Education is acquiring continuous knowledge and organized intelligence. Schools were designed to train pupils to be disciplined from the youngest age. The schools were created by industrials to prepare future employees. Thus, we go to school, to get good grades and to get into good universities. This way, we can do jobs that are steady and good according to the criteria we have been thought at those very schools. Then, we spend hours in long meetings and in doing repetitive tasks waiting for the day to get Authority and become the Manager.

What is missing is that schools do not prepare us to take on responsibility and to lead. This is why we grow disappointed and frustrated, because we are faced with infinite challenges and we feel stuck in the invisible box of job “comfort” zones.

Leaders take Responsibility

To be a leader, you need to figure out how to take on responsibility. As it is not being taught, you need to learn it on your own. That is an experience when you take risks, you go through many ups and downs and many challenging obstacles! Taking responsibility is the starting point for your life, your business and every endeavor you take.

To be a leader, you need to be creative and to make innovation your primary criteria, so that you can adapt to the ever-changing market and business environment. You need new ideas coming your way all the time, new offers and new concepts to stay on top of your industry and maintain your expertise.

To be a leader, you need to have a clear vision of where you are going with your life and your business.

Finally, leaders seek excellence, they leave the quality checks to the managers. By adding the human touch, leaders are able to bring excellence in the role they play. This is why we are teaching soft skills now. Reviving the human touch will prepare[1] great leaders and harness their leadership skills.

For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website!


Dr. Hynd Bouhia, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Hynd Bouhia has cumulated more than 20 years of professional experience in high-level and leadership positions, covering investments, financial structuring, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development strategies. Hynd Bouhia was nominated by Forbes among the 100 most influential women in the world in 2008 and among the most influential women in Business in the Arab World in 2015 and honored as a member of the Johns Hopkins Society of Scholars in 2018.






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