Leadership vs. Management

There is an age old argument about what makes a good leader, what’s the definition of leadership, and can someone be both a good leader and a good manager. . .and what the hell determines that?  I think it’s always going to be up for debate and there will be different ways to interpret the meanings, the functions, and the how the two could and should co-exist in a company as well is in one person.

I can tell you this much:  Not all good leaders are good at managing and most managers are not born leaders.

The trick is for the top brass to be self-aware enough of their own decisions to hire and promote people into said positions, and adjust when needed instead of letting a mistake continue to let the negativity of the situation drag down morale.  Did they hire someone because of their leadership potential?  Should certain managers never be promoted to senior leaders?  Are the leaders and managers performing to their strengths, or are they just as delusional and single minded as the far lefts and rights in our political system?  It takes guts to evaluate your own organization with objectivity and make hard changes, but I personally see it happening in multiple, high profile,  young companies today.

So what makes a good leader and a good manager?  Again, always up for debate, but I like the breakout below.  It’s more of a road map for distinguishing strong leadership, but the values of a manager can be derived from it as well. . .or how the two can combine to collaboratively enhance productivity.

Managers                                               Leaders

Administrative                                        Innovative

Imitate                                                     Originate

Focus on Systems and Structure          People-focused

Rely on Control                                       Inspire, Trust, Empower

Emphasize short term                           Visionary, look to the horizon


Manager - Leader synergy


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