Management has gotten a bad reputation, while leadership is on the mouth of every person inside modern organisations (often with a mistaken sense).
And yet, both management and leadership are needed. In different moments, though.
Leadership is what happens in between the moments we are managing. Managing is helping people what they did yesterday, but faster and cheaper. Management is staying the course. Leadership is taking the leap, doing something that might not work. Pointing to a problem, a challenge, an opportunity, and saying “I am going over here, who wants to come?”.Seth Godin, Akimbo s4e14
A good question for a leader is “where do we go next?“.
A good question for a manager is “how do we serve more people?“.
Managers and leaders can work together. In fact, an organisation is better off when equipped with managers and leaders that interact, work together, respect each other. And appreciate when it’s time for the other to take the stage.
In both cases, though, it’s important to remember that one of the key resources a manager and a leader have to allocate, motivate, deploy is people. Indeed, the main problem today is that we have managers and leaders who barely understand their role, and certainly do not grasp people. Both “where do we go next?” and “how do we serve more people?” are concerted efforts not formulaic spreadsheets.