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2 Leadership or management?

Another theme emerging from the definitions already identified is a distinction between leadership and management.

Do leadership and management overlap, or is there a clear distinction between the two? Current thinking on this varies.

While leadership might typically be about creating a vision, providing a sense of direction and gaining the commitment of others, management is often seen as being much more mundane and involved with the day-to-day work of organising people and resources to achieve given goals, including activities like planning, budgeting, staffing and so on. The key differences are summarised in the table shown in Figure 1.

Described image
Figure 1 The key activities of leadership and management

Unfortunately, and despite being critical for organisational success, the practice of management and being a manager is often undervalued and even regarded negatively. As management guru Peter Drucker once put it, ‘Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done’ (The Economist, 2014). Consequently, the challenge for anyone in a management position is to get the best out of being a manager while also striving to engage with some of the very positive aspects of leadership.

Activity 2 Leadership and management in policing with the community

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Considering the descriptions of leadership and management given earlier in this section, which aspects of both do you think are most relevant for successful partnerships between leaders in the police and the community?

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The key qualities of leadership and management required for successful community partnerships will vary both over and between different situations. As a leader – or manager – you must be prepared to draw upon the key skills of either as situations demand.


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