This information assists with:

Level 5 Becoming an effective leader

Level 3 - Understanding Leadership


This section covers the following criteria:

Level 5 - Outcome 1 

1.1 - Evaluate own ability to use a range of leadership styles, in different situations and with different types of people, to fulfill the leadership role

Level 3 - Outcome 1

1.2 - Explain why these leadership styles or behaviours are likely to have a positive or negative effect on individual and group behaviour

Level 3 - Outcome 2

2.1 - Assess own leadership behaviours and potential in the context of a particular leadership model and own organisation’s working practices and culture, using feedback from others


2.2 - Describe appropriate actions to enhance own leadership behaviour in the context of the particular leadership model

The debate over the difference between leadership and management still rages and there is much cross over in the skills and behaviours needed. Whilst this section aims to give some separation, it is important to recognise that the approaches can be used in either role.

There are countless different definitions of leadership.  It is important that we establish a clear definition around what leadership means to enable us to look at how we might develop our leadership. It will be useful also to put leadership into context with management as the 2 do sometimes get confused. There are jobs and roles in organisations that carry the title of ‘manager’ which also identify the need for leadership skills in the person specification.

Activity: Thinking about what leaders and managers do, consider how you would define:


a.  Leadership

b.  Management

Now think about what the differences might be.



A person responsible for controlling or administering an organisation or group of staff.

An individual who is in charge of a certain group of tasks, or a certain subset of a company. A manager often has a staff of people who report to him or her.

It can be said that a leader may not manage and a manger may not lead. In an ideal situation the person is both manager and leader.


This section will look at both management and leadership approaches.

Another way of looking at the difference between leadership and management is to recognise the difference between ‘doing the right thing’ and ‘doing things right’. Leaders do the right thing while managers concentrate on doing things right.




There are almost as many different definitions of leadership as there have been great leaders!


For example, the British military has previously defined leadership as:


‘Getting someone to do what you want them to do, even if they don’t want to do it’


This definition is very near to that offered by President Dwight Eisenhower which the British military has since adopted. He defined leadership as:


‘Getting someone to want to do what you want them to do’


Eisenhower’s definition sets out a challenge to any potential leader, namely, how to get people to follow you and to carry out your wishes. His assertion suggests that effective leadership is based upon the leader having a positive impact upon the people he is trying to lead. Adrian Gilpin of the Institute of Human Development underlines and reinforces the importance of this in his definition of leadership, stating that leadership is:


‘… the impact you have on yourself and the impact you have on people around you’


These definitions indicate that leadership is as much about the individual leader as it is about his or her training. In other words, while there are things that you can learn that will assist you as a leader, leadership is concerned more with our ability to influence and persuade our colleagues to follow our direction. Thus, effective leadership can depend very much on the personal qualities,

characteristics and behaviours of the leader. 

Activity: Think of up to 3 leaders or managers from different environments (political, sporting, commercial, etc) whom you know or know of. What characteristics do they display?

As you reflect on the list, you may conclude that leadership is as much behavioural as it is about your skills and knowledge. In other words, leadership is about making choices: choosing to lead in a certain way to achieve the desired or required results.


It would be remarkable if every leader possessed all or a significant number of the above characteristics. However, there is one thing that stands out from the list above: the skills required of a leader are subordinate to attitude and behaviour. The characteristics identified in that list, in many cases, imply choice: a leader can choose to lead in a certain way, they can choose to develop certain core skills and, crucially, they can choose to behave in a particular way.


For example, the captain of a Premiership football team is not necessarily the best player in the team. It can easily be somebody who is prepared to take responsibility for organising the team on the pitch. To be effective as the captain, the player must be able to communicate effectively and to inspire his fellow players. Communicating and inspiring the team might entail the captain reprimanding some players for a lack of effort, while cajoling and praising other players to achieve higher levels of performance. In this example, the captain is making a choice about how he will lead members of the team taking into account the characteristics of his fellow players.