Where Management, Leadership and Transformational Leadership Overlap

I’ve blogged about the differences between leaders and managers. I have also written about transformational leadership, and how it can be applied in the context of affiliate marketing. But today I have found an interesting diagram that shows how and when management, leadership, and transformational leadership can overlap (in traditional business environments). Here it is:


It is somewhat simplistic, but it’s in sync with everything that I have read, and written so far:

Management is about the mind. It is the manager’s job to stay focused on the task and goals, to set action plans, thereby helping followers deal with complexity.

Leadership, on the other hand, is more about the heart, or staying focused on the people and their individual characteristics, creating a shared vision that helps followers to participate in a change process.

Finally, transformational leadership is about breaking down resistance to change. This is done both through “assigning meaning to change” and through the change within the leader (him)/(her)self.

6 thoughts on “Where Management, Leadership and Transformational Leadership Overlap”

  1. Great article Geno,

    Very reminiscent of my business school days, but still very relevant.

    While we all aim to be in the middle, it can be difficult to strike that perfect balance.

    In terms of affiliate management do you believe that all spheres are of equal value, or are one or two more necessary? Or is it a question of have certain competencies at the appropriate time. i.e. a time for management, a time for leadership, etc.

  2. Chris,

    Thank you for your comment. I personally believe that management (in the “affiliate management” context) is something that can be applied only to tasks. I always say that there is no such a thing as affiliate management. You can manage an affiliate program, but not affiliates. We should be talking about two things: affiliate program management, and affiliate leadership. With the latter, there is a wide range of approaches that can be used (including transformational leadership), but the key is in staying flexible and adjusting things depending on the contingencies and situational variables involved.

  3. Really good point. I agree. Personally I sometimes find it difficult to ‘lead’ our affiliate programs because I get caught up in the ‘management’ side. Especially when it comes to helping affiliates who are just starting out – much of your time can be spent just answering basic questions, and while it’s good to try and build these newbies up to a point where they are successful, it can take time away from ‘leading’ those who are actually building the majority of your sales. Thoughts?

  4. Chris,

    This is a very valid point. Newbies require more ‘management’, and I think that the key to making it easier on the affiliate program manager is in putting together an extensive Q&A section (that would address all commonly asked questions), as well as a tips page/section (see the DaySpring’s example) that would help spark some ideas in their minds without your immediate participation. Every time you answer a basic question, add it either to your FAQ section or to the Tips one; and then refer affiliates right to these pages (from the time you send them the very first e-mail — the program approval one).

  5. Absolutely. That’s very true. We have quite extensive FAQs as well as an entire site dedicated to affiliate training at Affilorama.com which is free to join. I still find though that with the sheer numbers of affiliates that we have over multiple sites, that we still get heaps of bottom level basic questions coming through – ones that are already answered on the FAQ, but people never bother to read! I guess I could send them to the FAQ, but sometimes it’s just as easy to just answer the question, as that will avoid follow up “I don’t understand” emails. It can be tricky to know where to draw the line between good support and spending too much time answering simple questions!

  6. Good point, Chris. A personal answer to a question is definitely always better than just sending them over to the FAQ section. And then again, if you do have the question already answered in the FAQs, you can copy most of your answer from it, and tweak it a bit to personalize it.

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