Leadership vs. Management

I recently read Claire Hughes Johnson’s book and loved it. She talks about the difference between management and leadership. Both are necessary but they’re not the same thing. I found 3 interesting parts…

First, leadership is about discomfort. This quote, “Leadership is about disappointing people at a rate they can absorb. Leadership is about driving change while management is about creating stability. “ I like the thought that leaders are there to take people conceptually and physically past what they think they can do. Great leaders set vision and lofty goals that inspire. If you can do it, it’s powerful. It can often feel like leaders are asking for just a bit too much, but in the end, that’s what provides the motivation.

Second, experienced employees mostly need a leader and just a bit of a manager. Less experienced employees need mostly a manager and just a bit of a leader. That makes a ton of sense as it’s really the more experienced people who are looking for inspiration and for leadership.

Finally, there’s great value in good managers. Leaders don’t have to be managers but if they aren’t, they need to know how to work and hire managers to build the right teams to execute that vision. Teams with great managers have high level of trust, experience the challenge and reward of hard work and feel like they are making progress both as individuals and as a team. Great managers don’t have to be great leaders but the more senior a manager becomes the more important it is to be able to set a vision and direction for the team.

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