When I started running management training courses for new managers in the early 90ties, one of the slides that I used to show attempted to define the differences between managers and leaders. This was based upon the work of Kotter
Kotter defines management as being about organising, planning, controlling and managing complexity; and leadership as being about creating vision, communicating and setting direction, motivating, aligning people. His updated work emphasises the importance of both to organisations.
Whilst I would agree that there are two sets of competencies here, I have always found this split difficult if it is interpreted to mean that there are people who manage and people who lead and that these are two different sets of people. Mostly I would consider the competences of both being necessary to any person who manages at any level of the organisation. Mintzberg even suggested that the best leaders are good managers and also challenged this way of separating out the two sets of activities.
Recently a new slant was put on this by Julian Birkinshaw writing in Personnel Management
He suggests that management has become a diminished profession as leadership has become the favoured word to use. He suggests that Kotter et al have left managers with the boring aspects and that management needs to be redefined. He goes back to a definition of management which I believe encompasses leadership, that it is about ‘the act of getting people togther to accomplish desired goals’.
However, whilst I would agree with this definition and certainly I would suggest that it combines the concepts of leadership and management, it makes it much more difficult when considered as a set of competencies which can be taught on management development programmes. Programmes which are run as action learning programmes, relating learning to live work issues and are accompanied by coaching can however be very effective.
For a more thorough learning experience for managers /leaders they might consider an MBA programme run on similar lines and the highly accredited Open University MBA offers such a programme.