Monday, July 28, 2014
Leadership vs. Management
Leadership is to management as compass is to stopwatch.
Both the compass and the stopwatch are important tools, but they perform completely different functions. So, too, leadership and management.
Let’s start with a discussion of management and how it works. In a macro sense, managers gather data and make decisions therefrom. It’s an important skill, but ask yourself, where in time do data come from? Do data come from the past, present or future?
If you think in those terms, you realize that data come from the past and that what managers actually do is to look to the past to plan for the future. Does that seem like a sound practice? Certainly not for long-term success.
Leadership, on the other hand, looks to the future. Leaders follow trade journals, industry trends, technology trends and financial trends. They do their best to understand what the future will look like and how they can best position their organization to be successful in that environment.
Good organizations need both leaders and managers, but ask yourself where each is needed. Are leaders needed in greater abundance at the bottom or top of the organization? Area managers needed in greater abundance at the top or the bottom of the organization?
Note that mine weren’t either-or questions. It’s not that you don’t need leaders and managers throughout the organization. It’s more a question of where their skills can provide the greatest benefit to the organization.
I welcome your thoughts and would be grateful if you'd provide your rationale.
Meanwhile, Get Lean and Stay Lean.