Management versus Leadership

Too often we use the words management and leadership interchangeably, and I have watched organizations struggle with the lack of distinction. In my experience the two are mutually exclusive, and most folks rarely move well between the definitions.

I have used the following statements from the 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader” by Warren Bennis to illustrate my point in discussions within companies:

  • 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.
  • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.
  • The manager is the classic good soldier; the leader is his or her own person.
  • The manager does things right; the leader does the right thing.

In which of these definitions do you fall? There is no judgement, both are critical to the success of a team, project or organization!