Managing vs. Leading

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Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing. But they are necessarily linked, and complementary. Any effort to separate the two is likely to cause more problems than it solves. Workers need their managers not just to assign tasks but to define purpose. Managers must organize workers, not just to maximize efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results. "Leaders manage and managers lead, but the two activities are not synonymous. Management functions can potentially provide leadership; leadership activities can contribute to managing. Nevertheless, some managers do not lead, and some leaders do not manage". This is Bernard Bass’s assessment in his 1,200 page opus, "Bass and Stogdill’s Handbook of Leadership" (page 383). They overlap, but they are not the same. Since the distinction is not always clear throughout our society, it should come as no surprise that we are not clear about it in church life either. Warren Bennis, Professor of Business Administration at the University of Southern California, has been extensively studying and writing about leadership for many decades. He says “There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leading is influencing, guiding in a direction, course, action, opinion. The manager’s job is to plan, organize and coordinate. The leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. In The distinction is crucial". He explains why leaders are so much more successful than managers, in harnessing people power: "Management is getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done. Managers push. Leaders pull. Managers command. Leaders communicate." He composed a list of the differences:

– The manager administers; the leader innovates.
– The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
_ The manager accepts reality; the leader investigates it.
– 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.

Perhaps there was a time when the calling of the manager and that of the leader could be separated. A foreman in an industrial-era factory probably didn’t have to give much thought to what he was producing or to the people who were producing it. His or her job was to follow orders, organize the work, assign the right people to the necessary tasks, coordinate the results, and ensure the job got done as ordered. The focus was on efficiency. But in the new economy, where value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, and where workers are no longer undifferentiated cogs in an industrial machine, management and leadership are not easily separated. People look to their managers, not just to assign them a task, but to define for them a purpose. And managers must organize workers, not just to maximize efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results. The late management guru Peter Drucker was one of the first to recognize this truth, as he was to recognize so many other management truths. He identified the emergence of the “knowledge worker,” and the profound differences that would cause in the way business was organized. With the rise of the knowledge worker, “one does not ‘manage’ people,” Mr. Drucker wrote. “The task is to...
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