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The Leadership Quest Blog


Management vs. Leadership

October 31, 2013

Management vs. Leadership_Article.png

Often I hear two words used interchangeably and, in my mind, they are words that are not synonyms.

The two words are leadership and management.

Certainly leaders need to manage at times but not all managers actually lead.

Managers maintain the status quo; Leaders look to the future.

Managers have short range views;Leaders have long range perspectives.

Managers rely on controls; Leaders inspire trust.

Managers’ eyes are on the bottom line; Leaders’ eye is on the horizon.

Managers ask “How?” and “When?”; Leaders ask “What?” and “Why?”.

When you boil it all down it looks like this: Managers spend time on things; Leaders spend time with people.

As a leader you will at times find yourself spending too much time on "things", just slow down and turn your attention to your people and the "things" will take care of themselves.  I want to take a few minutes and help.

Let me leave you with this excerpt from a leadership guide featuring step-by-step how-tos, Wall Street Journal stories, and video interviews with CEOs adapted from “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management” by Alan Murray, published by Harper Business:

Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing, but they are necessarily linked, and complementary. Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves.

Still, much ink has been spent delineating the differences. The manager’s job is to plan, organize, and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate.

In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences:

– The manager administers; the leader innovates.

– The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.

– The manager maintains; the leader develops.

– The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people.

– The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust.

– The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

– The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

– The manager has his or her eye always on the bottom line; the leader’s eye is on the horizon.

– The manager imitates; the leader originates.

Questions on Management vs. Leadership, email me: len@theleadershipquest.com

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