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Learn About Quality

What is Leadership?

Quality Glossary Definition: Leadership

Leadership is defined as the act of directing and managing a project, group of people, or an organization.

Leadership is not solely the responsibility of those who reside at the higher levels of the hierarchy. Instead, it’s an activity in which anyone who’s interested in the success of an organization can take part. Promoting employee involvement in leadership is an effective way to help build up a company’s success and morale.

There are two main types of leadership:

1. Operational Leadership

  • Ensuring that organizational processes are effectively carried out on a day-to-day basis
  • Monitoring performance
  • Addressing constraints and challenges
  • Ensuring that employees understand what is to be done and are provided with the authority, knowledge, and skills to effectively perform their role

2. Strategic Leadership

  • Define the overall vision and mission of an organization
  • Develop strategies, systems, and structures to achieve the vision and mission
  • Create both technical and social systems that are effectively integrated, and which address the needs of both customers and employees
  • Evaluate risks and navigate disruption

Management vs Leadership

"Managing" and "leading"—dual activities required to run an organization—are both valuable and necessary, but they differ significantly.

Managers make sure the work gets done; leaders make sure the work gets done more effectively. Managers work within an existing paradigm; leaders help a group of people move from one paradigm to another. Managers focus on doing things right; leaders focus on doing the right things. Managers work hard to maintain improvements; leaders work hard to create improvements. Managers manage processes; leaders lead and develop people.

Organizations need excellent managers as well as excellent leaders. Improvements that aren’t sustained become worthless, and excellent processes that never improve become mediocre over time. In fact, most organizations need people who can both manage and lead, but these skills require development.

Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Certification

The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence is a professional and leader who:

  • Leads and champions process-improvement initiatives
  • Facilitates and leads team efforts to establish and monitor customer/supplier relations
  • Supports strategic planning and deployment initiatives
  • Helps develop measurement systems to determine organizational improvement
  • Motivates and evaluates staff
  • Manages projects and human resources
  • Analyzes financial situations
  • Determines and evaluates risk
  • Employs knowledge management tools and techniques in resolving organizational challenges

Per the 2023 ASQE IoE Category Report, leadership skills will continue to evolve over the next several years. Especially in regards to Industry 4.0, or Quality 4.0, digital savviness and data-driven decision making skills will continue to be in demand.
ASQE LAQ Leadership

Leadership Resources

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