Management vs. Leadership

Jim Collins relates a class discussion that went like this…”Leaders are inspired.  Leaders are large.  Leaders are the kids with the black leather jackets, sunglasses, and sheer unadulterated cool.  Managers, well, they’re the somewhat nerdy kids, decidedly less interesting, lacking charisma.  And of course, we all wanted to be leaders, and leave the drudgery of management to others…We could not have been more misguided and juvenile in our thinking.  As Peter Drucker shows right here, in these pages  (in the pages of Management, Revised Edition), the very best leaders are first and foremost effective managers.  Those who seek to lead but fail to manage will become either irrelevant or dangerous, not only to their organizations, but to society.”

On multiple occasions, Peter Drucker articulated the difference between management and leadership.  “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things” Drucker would say in his deep Austrian accent.   We hear more and more about leadership today but not so much about management which should be a cause for concern.  The two contributions to the accomplishment of objectives must compliment each other and move in the same direction.

  1. Is your leadership backed up by good management?  
  2. Is your management spending time on the right things?

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