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The human bias towards leadership

In the dynamic realms of business and academia, the distinction between leadership and management has been a subject of significant discussion. Leadership is often portrayed as the beacon guiding organisations towards their goals, while management is associated with more administrative tasks. However, recent research conducted by Dr Hannes Leroy and his team at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), has challenged these perceptions, shedding light on the intricate relationship between the two.

The need for thoughtful decision-making

The research reveals people have a natural affinity for leadership over management, even in scenarios where management skills may be more suitable. This "irrational love of leadership" appears to be closely tied to the speed at which decisions are made. 

Fast, somewhat automatic decision-making processes create a romanticised view leadership, highlighting a strategic gap that could be rectified by simply taking more time in the decision-making process. This calls for a shift in strategy. Dr Leroy's research suggests that when individuals slow down their thinking and decision-making, they are more likely to see the value of management and make more balanced decisions between leadership and management. This slower, more thoughtful process helps to assess situational needs accurately, enabling the right choice between a charismatic leader and an effective manager.

Implications for recruitment and decision-making

Reevaluating recruitment practices

The findings of Dr Leroy's research have significant implications for business practitioners. One key consideration is the need to reassess recruitment practices to avoid overlooking the value of competent managers.

Embracing thoughtful decision-making

This section explores the importance of slowing down the decision-making process to evaluate whether a leader or manager is better suited to the specific context. By examining evidence and context carefully, individuals and organisations can make more informed choices.

Investing in comprehensive training

To bridge the gap between leadership and management, investing in training programs that provide a holistic understanding of both roles is essential. There are many benefits of enrolling in leadership courses and programs to develop the skills necessary for effective leadership and management. For managers, leaders or teams in organisations, this can be the key to unlocking more effective decision-making.

Interested in exploring RSM's leadership courses?

RSM offers various short courses on leadership, management and transformation for individuals and organisations.

Strategic leadership courses: a long-term investment

The path to effective leadership and management

Whether aspiring to be a charismatic leader or an efficient manager, individuals must embark on a journey of continuous learning. Every leading organisation in today's business places emphasis on the importance of cultivating essential leadership qualities and developing effective communication skills.

Exploring course options

In today's digital age, various online and in-person courses cater to different aspects of leadership and management, from project management to people management. At RSM, there are an incredibly diverse range of courses available, each which a unique potential impact on your career path. 

A journey of growth

By enrolling in a strategic leadership course or a leadership program aligned with long-term goals, individuals can develop the skills needed to navigate the dynamic world of leadership and management effectively.