Today I was thinking about management. As in how well am I managing my group and related work processes. As someone, through this blog, demonstrating a focus on leadership I find that I do not want to lose hold of my focus on management practices.
I have read many times about leadership and management as two different and almost competing approaches. I too have taught others with a focus on the differences between the two and alas, showed a bias toward leadership as the winning approach. Yet, I find this thinking to be wrong and I now see leadership and management as two sides of the same coin.
I looked up the definition of this well used term today and found, “different but closely related features of one idea”. Very nice – this works for me and explains for me the connection between leadership and management. Read it again:
Different but …
Closely Related features …
of one idea.
As a leader you follow a process of influence to gather folks together to focus on the right things and through your effective leadership you get the most and then some from your team. Management skills allow that same leader to establish the goals with detailed milestones, measure progress, identifying issues timely, and also end up with the goal met.
While I may dream of leadership related topics (writing a blog plays with your mind), I wake up each day and my first act is that of a manager. As I do each business morning, I log in from home to run several production reports concerning my work processes. I previously set up the right measurements and helped design production reports that detail the current state of my business operation. These reports point to my department’s successes and where I need to look closer to improve production. These management practices are part of my leadership practices.
A leader without a solid base of management skills is disconnected and will make poor decisions. The leader is simply lacking information needed to make decisions. Yet a manager with poor to nonexistent leadership ability is well … someone with a title only.
I want to be and grow both as a leader and a manager. Yes, I will admit the leadership side of the coin has the beautiful artwork and draws us in, but if the management side of the coin is rubbed down to nothing, the coin is worthless.
Totally agree with your premise here! I think it even apples to other disciplines as well. We try so hard to find the “right” when both answers are often right. Great post!
Thanks Curtis – I remember teaching the “or” as in it has to be this or that. I come to realize the power of the “and”. Both are important and related.
Nice post Michael. Too often we divide leadership from management in a way that makes management look bad (I’ve been guilty of that). Management is very important to a successful company. True, it’s often abused and not carried out in a way that builds. However, it’s a key element in carrying out successful leadership.
Thanks for the insight.
Michael – thanks for your input. Continued success to you!