“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 distinction is crucial”.
In his 1989 book “On Becoming a Leader, Warren Bennis composed a list of the differences between managers and leaders for added clarification:
– The manager administers; the leader innovates.
– The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
– 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.
This is a good distinction for us consultants to internalize.
Consultants are not managers. We’re leaders.
Sure, we can help empower the managers we work with. We even can be one of many leaders within the companies we work for.
But as Warren Bennis said, the distinction is crucial.
Be a leader.