All too often we see knowledge workers, media and other professionals confusing the role of a leader with that of a manager. Peter Drucker spelled it out clearly for us – leadership is about ‘doing the right things’, in other words about being effective. Management on the other hand is about ‘doing things right’ – it’s about being efficient, the first looks outward, the latter looks inward. What’s the big deal in confusing the two you ask? There are two general problems:
- A manager who strives for the glory of leadership, without understanding the essence of his role as a manger, will increase the risk of demotivating the team he manages, while also increasing the probability that goals and objectives go unmet.
- A leader who strives for the operational control of a manager, without turning his focus and vision outward, will cement the ineffectiveness of his decisions.
This begs the question, can an individual be both a great leader and manager?