The leadership is about leading people. The management is about managing tasks. It is the most common definition of the difference between the leadership and the management. The HR Management should be the HR Leadership in most cases. The HR Managers do manage tasks (or requests resulting from HR Policies), but they lead line managers. They lead managers to work with their employees regularly. The HR Managers act as the leaders for the group of managers in the business units.
The leadership is about provoking the change. The managers prefer the stability, but the leader gives the vision and the followers make changes happen. It is the role of the HR Manager to change the people management practices.
The role of Human Resources is not the daily management of HR tasks. It is a pure support of managers and they do not see any value added. The role of HR is in sharing the challenges and goals with managers in business units. HR and managers have to cooperate to build the competitive advantage for the organization.
The HR leadership is about the clear focus on the people management. The HR Manager gives the vision of the final state of the HR Management in the business unit and finds way how to implement the vision. Managers have to share the vision with the HR Manager and they have to implement new ideas and approaches in HR Management proactively.
The leadership is about risk-taking, healthy conflicts and cooperation. The decisions are not taken by the individual, but the leader facilitates group discussions and the best solution is approved by the entire group. It is the essential part of the HR Leadership. Many HR Managers do fail in the facilitation skills and the forecasting skills. The management is about solving issues now, the leadership is about finding ways how to avoid issues and problems in the future.
Today, the modern organization requires the focus of all employees on the challenges coming in the future. Most organization know how to compete on the market today, but they fail to set the enthusiastic vision for the future. HR should provoke discussion in the entire organization to find the best way for the operation of the company in the future. HR has to support the CEO and the top management in their strategic leadership roles.
However, the HR Leadership is not suitable for the everyday business life. The HR Management has to be operational as well. Managers need to solve their issues. They do not need advices focused on the future of their units and departments. The HR cannot lose its operational role in the company.
HR has to play both roles in the organization. It has to develop the HR Leadership for building the competitive advantage and it has to improve HR Processes for the daily management of HR tasks. The HR Management cannot be a pure HR leadership as managers will not feel any support from HR.
The HR Leadership is important for the top management. The strategic initiatives and change management projects have to be supported by HR. The line managers need the operational support from HR. Additionally, HR has to be excellent in both areas.