Leadership and Management Are Not the Same Thing

Alan Murray: “Perhaps there was a time when the calling of the manager and that of the leader could be separated. A foreman in an industrial-era factory probably didn’t have to give much thought to what he was producing or to the people who were producing it. His or her job was to follow orders, organize the work, assign the right people to the necessary tasks, coordinate the results, and ensure the job got done as ordered. The focus was on efficiency.”

“But in the new economy, where value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, and where workers are no longer undifferentiated cogs in an industrial machine, management and leadership are not easily separated. People look to their managers, not just to assign them a task, but to define for them a purpose. And managers must organize workers, not just to maximize efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results.”

Key takeaways:

  • “Workers need their managers not just to assign tasks but to define purpose.”
  • “Managers must organize workers, not just to maximize efficiency, but to nurture skills, develop talent and inspire results.”

The full article, which was adapted from The Wall Street Journal Guide to Management, is worth reading.