Management Versus Leadership

By Judy Utley, LV Program Speaker

You probably have a strategy for how you ‘Manage’. Similarly, you will also have a strategy for how you ‘Lead’. So how can you leverage these skills so 1+1 = 3? Here are some thoughts to ponder.

Are they largely one of the same skill or are they different skills? 

I believe they are different with a small cross over (like a Venn Diagram). The cross over is the ‘sweet spot’.

‘Management’ focus is on the operations of aligning an employee to use their skills and time to complete tasks – but you can have a group of disengaged employees and still manage to get the tasks completed. They need better leadership.

‘Leadership’ focus is on getting employees to put their heart into the task delivery and positively engage – but you can have a group of positively engaged employees who really don’t know exactly what they are meant to be delivering. They need better management.

How do you find the ‘sweet spot’?

Managing the task is often the easier part of it. Do X by 12pm on Y. Deliver 40 X’s per Y. The harder part is getting people to want to do it.

Employees are more willing to go the extra mile when their managers:

  • make them feel supported
  • make them feel trusted
  • acknowledge their efforts
  • get them to use their skills and brains/sometimes challenge them
  • provide work that interests them

I encourage you to think about, if and/or how you consider these points when getting others to deliver tasks.

Making the sweet spot happen

The tip here is that each of the points above are actions. E.g. to make some someone feel trusted you need to verbalise that trust (and who doesn’t like being told they are trusted?). Good intentions aren’t enough as a leader – you must action your leadership to be effective.

When you give employees tasks the following phrases may help in discussion:

  • “I’ll be here for you when you need help – you know where to find me”
  • “You have the skills to do this well” “you are smart” ‘this is one of your strengths”
  • “I love the trust that we have – remember I’m here for you”
  • “You are doing so well – in that meeting you nailed the presentation to the team”
  • “How are you coping?” “What initial concerns do you have?” “let’s talk through them”
  • “Are you getting enough support from me? Is there anything more (or less LOL) that you need from me?”

Final thoughts

I believe at the best Managers and Leaders demonstrate true care and interest for their employees – with both good and bad news. That’s where the sweet spot is formed. My Mother used to always say ‘don’t waste your time on people who don’t have your best interest at heart’.

Do you have your employees’ best interest at heart?


Judy Utley, LV Program Speaker and General Manager, People and Culture, Treasury Corporation of Victoria

Judy Utley is responsible for the design, development and implementation of Treasury Corporation of Victoria’s (TCV) ‘people’ strategies and processes that support and augment the delivery of TCV’s culture and business objectives. Judy also manages remuneration, administration and OHS for TCV.

Prior to joining TCV in 2001, Judy held senior dealing roles in the financial markets with ABN Amro, BZW and ANZ Treasury.

Judy holds a Masters of Commerce, and until recently was the Deputy Chair of the Financial Markets Remunerations group (FIRG).

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