Leadership Is Not Management (but you need both) Ross | December 1st, 2009

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter Drucker

Many confuse leadership and management. They are not the same. However, successful businesses must have strong leaders and strong managers (this is increasingly important as companies hire more people). Strong leadership without strong management can result in chaos and inefficiency. Strong management without strong leadership can result in tunnel vision and paralysis.

In the video below, I talk about the differences between leaders and managers. I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment and let me know if you find other, important differences between leaders and managers.

If you want to learn more about the differences between managers and leaders, I recommend you read Mark Suster’s excellent post – What Makes an Entrepreneur? Four Letters: JFDI.

And if you’re interested in other short videos on useful topics for startups and small businesses (fundraising, hiring, marketing, etc.), I invite you to take a look at my blog.

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  • mostwanted

    so i can tell from this distinction more and more that i want to be a leader, not just a manager

    don’t get me wrong, i enjoy working directly with people on a project, but i really appreciate asking a lot of questions along the way, not pretending like i have the definitive answer to something that i am leading people to, but instead that i am a sort of cosmological guide participating in a way to bring the design of something to an optimal and amazing point in space and time

  • http://www.crowdspring.com Ross

    mostwanted – some people are fortunate to have both sets of skills, but most don’t. But it’s important to understand for yourself what you’re better at doing – because that will save you a lot of aggravation and will help you surround yourself with people that complement you.

  • Bruce Lynn

    I agree that there is a distinction between ‘Leadership’ and ‘Management’ (in fact, I have been blogging about just this distinction for over 4 years at http://brucelynnblog.spaces.live.com/). I understand the observations that you are making and some have some merit. Unfortunately, I think you are confusing ‘means’ with ‘ends’. Yes, ‘Leaders’ and ‘Manager’ do some of the things that you describe. However, I think that the approaches that you describe are not the exclusive domains of each. Leaders can “manipulate resources” and Managers can “set clear a clear vision” and “provide the right tools”.

    My own definition of the difference lies in the “ends’ (outcomes) that each is focused on. Leaders optimise the upside; Manager minimise the downside risks. I do concur with the bottom line of this post that having both together in balance is critical to a healthy organisation.

  • http://www.crowdspring.com Ross

    Bruce – you’re right that sometimes, the approaches I discuss in the video are not the exclusive domains of leaders or managers. Some managers do indeed lead. And some leaders manage. Having said that, many people confuse the terms and think that any manager is a leader, and that any leader is a manager. As you and I appear to agree – that’s a misconception.

    Thanks for enriching the discussion here.

  • Blue Sail Creative

    This is exactly what I am talking about with my staff on a daily basis. We try to promote good management by executing on specific systems. We follow the rule book of Sam Carpenter in “Work the System” and also with E-Myth.

    I highly recommend both of those for management tips.

  • http://www.crowdspring.com Ross

    Blue Sail Creative – much thanks for the resources you’ve recommended.

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  • Unconcerned Citizen

    Most informative.

    Much obliged,
    UnconcernedCitizen.com

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