Friday, November 19, 2010

Leadership vs. Management?

Leadership vs. Management? Leadership or Management

Can you really separate and identify what is leadership and what is management objectively and empirically?
An overview of the subject:
Peter Scholtes did some research 15-20 years ago, and found that the first actual org chart in the literature came from the railroads in the 1840s. There had been a huge train wreck, and no one knew whom to blame. To make sure that would never happen again, the org chart was developed, so you would always have someone to blame. When Scholtes presented that paper, he pointed out that that particular document was also the first mention he had found in any literature that mentioned the word "manage”.
Peter Drucker summarized the distinction between management and leadership: "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing".

And as Mr. Warren Bennis (1989) further explicated his twelve distinctions between the two groups are:

1. Managers administer; leaders innovate.
2. Managers ask how and when; leaders ask what and why.
3. Managers focus on systems; leaders focus on people.
4. Managers do things right; leaders do the right things.
5. Managers maintain; leaders develop.
6. Managers rely on control; leaders inspire trust.
7. Managers have short-term perspective; leaders have long-term perspective.
8. Managers accept the status-quo; leaders challenge the status-quo.
9. Managers have an eye on the bottom line; leaders have an eye on the horizon.
10. Managers imitate; leaders originate.
11. Managers emulate the classic good soldier; leaders are their own person.
12. Managers copy; leaders show originality.
Those who defend that leadership is much more than just management will say that a leader has qualities of vision and inspiration.Onecan absolutely manage people, projects, and processes,and exhibit poor Leadership qualities. People may follow instructions because their job is at stake,but not because a manager will inspire them,bring out their best,help them to grow,and accomplish high performance results.

Accomplished Leaders do much more than manage.They inspire and create followers who will follow them into fire and ice and back.

Hence, Management seems to be considered more about organization, administration and execution; the ability to build a functioning organization that can execute the tasks, projects and processes needed to achieve the aim of the system.
Another wayto look at the question is by regarding leadership as an art and management as a science.
Thus,a leader has different capabilities from a manager.A leader has qualitative capabilities, skills, experiences, a developed emotional intelligence and a strong character to lead to success, to motivate their teams, to deliver the mission of the organization and to create a collaborative culture and cohesive team.
A manager has quantitative capabilities to deliver timing metrics and KPI. His tools and only motivation is focused in actively deliver the mission and the strategy of the organization. Therefore:a leader hasqualitative capabilities to deliver vision and a manager has quantitative capabilities to deliver mission; Leader/Manager integrates the vision plus the mission of the organization to their teams and keep the culture within an organization functional and balanced.

Is leadership an art?

Some see leadershipas an art, but is that really so or we may well say that the leadership card in business is overstated and overplayed.

Overstated because business leadership definition tends to broad stroke a painting of employees portrayed as a collective of dysfunctional, disengaged, in desperate need of a messianic authority.

Overplayed because vision and goals are not based on the commons but more so on the imposition of a business cultural hegemony shift.

Transactional or transformational "leaders" in business are simply roles being played by people in authority, not to be confused with the fine art of leading people in a common pursuit. The executive team in place was not elected by the employees. Persuasive leadership is a just a coinage that implies accepted compliance or eventual termination.

Executives fulfilling the stockholder's desire to maximize profit are not true leaders “per se” but bosses who must exemplify great communication skills aside from administrative acumens to grow the businesses they manage. In today's business context, productivity is the singular mantra so what does this have to do with leadership?

What if the real question is not so much leadership vs. management but”Can a manager be a leader and a leader be a manager"?
I posit that there are no leaders in individual businesses or organizations: there is a figurehead and perhaps a decision maker, but that is not necessarily a leader. And then there are lots of people who manage the various aspects of the business, both process and people.
In other words, an effective combination Leader/Manager knows when it's time to put their "management hat" on, as well as when it's time to put their "leadership hat" on. And when it's time to wear "both hats", which should be majority of the time.

Changing of / revision of which hat(s) to wear can happen within days, hours, minutes, seconds, etc... It depends on "who walks in the room next with what type of issue". Neither the leader nor his people know when the leader has revised current hat. A good leader never loses sight of their leader perspective while managing and vice-versa. Consistency! Whenever approached by any situation, whoever is involved knows what they are going to receive. The complete leadership package must include the characteristics of an effective leader who is only "influenced" to a certain degree by the manager perspective.

Cristina Falcão


Frieke Karlovits said...

interesting article on ledership and management - I endorse a lot of it for traditin al business - in network marketing leadership is a necessity - unless you inspire people nothing will happen. It is not the kind of business where mere management will get you anywhere :)

Frieke Karlovits

MBUintelligence said...

Thanks 4 your input Frieke. Much appreciated.