My gripe for today.
I cringe when I hear the phrase ‘distributed leadership’.
I fight back the rage building within me whenever I hear someone exchange the term ‘manager’ for the term ‘leader’.
Let me be clear about this – I love the concept of distributed leadership. The world would be a wonderful place if the people with the vision and passion were given the space to drive change. My gripe however is this – people seem to be using these two terms interchangeably. ‘Leadership’ and ‘management’ are not the same thing, for one very simple reason: accountability.
Sure, ‘leadership’ is a quality we would hope ‘managers’ exhibit, and one would hope that any organisation would provide opportunities for staff to develop their skills both in terms of leadership and in terms of management, but they are not the same thing. You can be a leader because you have the vision and drive to make change happen. You are a manager because you are accountable. Leadership is a whole subject in it’s own right, but it’s also a really important subset of management.
Ignore the rest of management at your peril.