I hear a lot about the differences between leadership and management.
Some people perceive management as being overly focused on details and objectives, while leadership is more inspirational and motivating. Some people seem to think that managers push pencils, while leaders talk about values and vision. I have heard people say that someone needs to “get beyond managing to step up as a leader.”
I have a difficult time understanding the difference.
The greatest leaders I have ever met are excellent managers. I have worked with people who are excellent at bringing out the best in the people around them and connecting to their true selves, while accomplishing specific tasks.
With deep understanding and appreciation for core values and vision, they find creative ways to produce measurable, meaningful results. The balance comes from doing both well.
I have worked with organizations that reflected values with which I agreed, but were not able to return my telephone calls. I have also worked with people who were very well organized, but who could not tell me what values they held or what their vision was for their own leadership.
The organizations I admire the most recognize that it is not enough just to have great values and a clear vision; it is not enough just to be efficient and cost-effective. The organizations I admire the most recognize that they need to encompass both at the same time.
I have no real interest in working with leaders who cannot manage their way out of a paper bag. I have no real interest in working with managers who are making great progress toward goals I do not want to pursue.
Leadership includes management.
Where are your core values and vision moving you?
Are you making meaningful progress?
How does managing fit into your leadership?
[Image by laverrue]