My opinion is the difference I see between the leaders and the managers is that one is
revolutionary, an adventurer, explorer and visionary. He opens new doors. The other is more
evolutionary, a builder, a grower. He sees what is needed for people to successfully pass through
new doors and helps them prepare for it. Both are important. From my perspective, the big
picture on leadership is that we humans function best when leadership is a shared function that at
times looks like visioning; at times managing; at times encouraging, and leadership is never a
one person thing despite the tendency our culture has to focus on the person in charge or the
person at the top.
The terms management and leadership are often interchanged. In fact, many people view
them as basically the same thing. Yet management is as distinct from leadership as day is from
night. Both are necessary, however, for a high-performance organization (Article #1). By
contrasting them and understanding their differences, we can better balance and improve these
essential roles. One key distinction between management and leadership is that we manage
things and lead people. Things include physical assets, processes, and systems (Article #2).
If you look at the leadership literature, you will often find experts, and even noted
management gurus like Warren Bennis, make a distinction between management and leadership.
Often in making the distinction, management is characterized as less important, or somehow
inferior to leadership (article #1). It seems to me that leadership can be defined simply as the
successful promotion of new directions while management focuses on getting things done,
executing those directions. The key shift is ...
... middle of paper ...
...ow people learn and develop that seems to have taken hold in American
culture also dominates thinking in business (Zaleznik). They myth is that people learn best from
their peers. Supposedly, the threat of evaluation and even humiliation recedes in peer relations
because of the tendency from mutual identification and the social restraints on authoritarian
behavior among equals (Zaleznik).
It is important to recognize the differences between leadership and management, it is also
important to appreciate that the two have complementary strengths, as well. Both management
and leadership are needed to make teams and organizations successful. Trying to decide which is
more important, is like trying to decide whether the right or left wing is more important to an
airplane’s flight. In my opinion I will take both in order to run an organization productively.
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