November 12, 2014
What Leaders Really Do
The concept of ying and yang has been a running theme throughout the Transformational Leadership course. Nowhere has it been more applicable than to the HBR case study, “What Leaders Really Do”. The article discuss the importance of balance within an organization between management and leadership. Both have to exist in compliment of each other in order for an organization to thrive in a competitive environment. Management functions are to plan, organize, execute, and report in an systematic way. It takes a defined company direction and formulates the systems necessary to achieve goals step-by-step. Leadership, on the other hand, functions to “produce change” (Kotter). It forms the vision and resolves the direction of the company. Leadership is the brain, it is the creative cognitive side. It deals with the abstract intangible aspects of business. It frames a vision by thinking, asking questions, and articulating its findings to management. Management is the body, it gets instruction through synapse from leadership. From there it constructs and implements the plan to make the body move, to turn the vision into reality. Yet, leadership does not stop at the brain, and management does not begin at the body. To be successful each partially inhabits the domain of the other. Below we will discuss the differences between leadership and management, the ways in which they can complement each other, and the overarching importance of leadership to the long term health of the organization.
According to ChangingMinds.org, managers have subordinates, leaders have followers (Leadership vs. Management, n.d.). This is a powerful statement that has significant implications to the purpose of each. Every aspect of a business can be broken down in terms of a leadership vs. management approach. For example, what does each one seek? A leader seeks a vision for his followers. He seeks a purpose for...
Bibliography: Kotter, J. P. (n.d.). What Leaders Really Do. Harvard Business Review, 2-16.
Leadership vs. Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from Changing Minds: http://changingminds.org/disciplines/leadership/articles/manager_leader.htm#man
Singer, B. (Director). (1995). The Usual Suspecs [Motion Picture].
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