Leadership has been getting all the spotlight in recent years, but management is really where the action is if you want results. Management is the hard work of developing (as well as sustaining) an environment that supports people to be successful in a common goal. The common goal, of course is the success of your company.
Joel Spolsky said it well:
You can go into any coffee shop in the country and order a short soy caramel latte extra-hot, and youâ€™ll find that you have to keep repeating your order again and again: once to the coffee maker, again to the coffee maker when they forgot what you said, and finally to the cashier so they can figure out what to charge you. Thatâ€™s the result of nobody telling the workers a better way. Nobody figures it out, except Starbucks, where the standard training involves a complete system of naming, writing things on cups, and calling out orders which insures that customers only have to specify their drink orders once. The system, invented by Starbucks HQ, works great, but workers at the other chains never, ever come up with it on their own… As a manager itâ€™s your job to figure out a system. Thatâ€™s Why You Get The Big Bucks. [emphasis mine]
One reason the two are often confused is due to style. Management has become associated with an authoritarian style aka “Command and Control” Leadership has become associated with an more “empowering” style.
Sigurd Rinde makes this mistake in his post about leading children as training for MBAs.
When dealing with knowledge workers in our more flexible economy it’s usually more useful to use a more inclusive, empowering style whether you are leading or managing (not always but usually). It’s absurd to think you can create an environment that supports people without their input. But just leading people will not develop a scalable organization.
[tags] Managing, Leading, Management, CEO Skills, Entrepreneur [/tags]
photo courtesy of GeekPhilosopher