Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Leadership vs. Management

Is it possible to identify good leadership in the present?  Often the impact of leadership is valued after the fact.  Yet, when the leadership is weak and providing little direction everyone in the organization is aware of that on a daily basis.

The McKinsey Quarterly article “Do you have the right leaders for your growth strategies?” asks if there is a link between growth and specific leadership traits.  The article acknowledges that great leaders are hard to find yet they’re important to a company’s success.  Less then one percent met McKinsey’s metrics of excellence.  Thus, it is important to focus on the leadership competencies that will have the most direct impact on the company’s growth.

Is it excellent leadership that is needed or good management for company growth? London School of Business Visiting Professor Gary Hamel explains that management is the greatest invention of the twentieth century, originally designed to manage the system and had everyone working towards the same goal in unison.  To see true growth, we must first develop ourselves into the next generation of managers.  That true economic growth depends on designing companies that are compatible with individual people and tapping their potential.

Hamel outlines the following three tasks of management: think big, challenge dogma and learn from the fringe.  He asserts this is the future of management that will produce a company’s success. 

Developing the potential of a company’s employees is good management – and that’s good leadership.


1 comment:

  1. I would have to disagree with Professor Hamel's point that good management is the basis for good leadership. I think it is the other way around. I learned a long time ago that leaders Plan, Organize and Direct while managers simply Control.

    I also found this from the Wall Street journal:

    In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader,” Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences:

    – 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.



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