“Management is ….the process, it’s the organisation and the planning, and then the control. It’s the logical process that gets the outcome. Leadership is how you get all the people in the chain up behind you.” David Murray
So much has been written about leadership and management. Are managers just second rate leaders, or is comparing the two akin to comparing apples and zucchinis? In other words, are they two different practices, and does one in fact need to be a good leader/manager?
It’s interesting how job titles can change as a reflection of changing thinking over time. I worked for eight years in a major bank. When I started there, people in a leadership role were called assistant manager, manager or senior manager. When I left, team leaders had replaced the assistant managers, and executives/senior executives had replaced the senior managers.
Let’s see what different ‘authorities’ say about management versus leadership. The quotes come from well-known writers and those who are/were in key CEO roles in Australia. some years ago As you will see, most suggest that they represent two different functions, both of them very necessary.
Warren Bennis seems to suggest that managers are second rate leaders. “Managers imitate, administer, maintain. Leaders innovate, originate, develop. Managers focus on structure. Leaders focus on people. Managers rely on control. Leaders inspire trust. Managers have a short-range view. Leaders have a long-range view. Managers accept the status quo. Leaders challenge the status quo. Managers are classic good soldiers. Leaders ask what and why.”
In contrast, Geoffrey Kells has said that “leadership co-exists with management. You must do both. There is no choice.” This is supported by David Murray (formerly CEO, Commonwealth Bank), who made the statement at the top of this page.
Sir Roderick Carnegie says something similar: “The ability to manage well and the ability to lead well are two separate tasks. The best companies have people doing both.” Robert Gottliebsen says: “a strong leader has to have good management skills as well, and the means of using them.”
Don Argus maintains that “leaders are the people who can influence change” and Kouzes and Posner (who have carried out significant research on what effective leaders do) state that “leadership is the art of mobilising others to struggle for shared aspirations.”
Finally, Valerie Pratt says that “there’s often too much management (in the control sense) and not enough leadership.”
My own belief is that one needs to be both a good leader and good manager when having team responsibilities. We need the skills in planning, controlling and organising tasks/projects, as well as the ability to motivate and enable those who ultimately need to achieve the necessary outcomes.
How do you rate as a leader/manager? What could/should you enhance within yourself?