leadership vs. management
I could not agree more when he says "Leadership is not a four letter word." while I cannot but disagree more when he injects hierarchy into the equation.
Leadership is not dependent on an organisational hierarchy. Full stop. Quite the opposite.
Lead equals "show the way".
Manage equals "direct and control".
See any loose, hierarchy-free network and you will find natural leaders and no managers.
See an organisational hierarchy and you will find managers all over, and with luck some leaders.
Lead - to "show the way" requires visibility, credibility and integrity.
Manage - to "direct and control" requires a control structure.
Open Source have not much of an organisational hierarchy.
Microsoft has an organisational hierarchy.
An organisational hierarchy is per definition a control structure. Managers win.
Transparency, individual integrity and even credibility is less than ideal for a command and control structure. Leaders suffer.
But we want leaders, we like it, we cannot survive without it, all of nature knows it, we discuss how to create great leaders, we pay consultants gazillions to tell us how, we buy books. Leaders we need.
- Train managers to become leaders, systematised injection of credibility, preparation to instill personal integrity and a dollop of visibility. (Why does this remind me of marketing and branding?)
- Seek out the natural leaders, the ones that can "show the way" and plonk them into the task of being managers. Their credibility and integrity taking a quick beating as they start controlling and directing. Leadership having a hard time.
What a mess. Still we fight tooth and nail to keep a structure that stifles leadership and fosters management. A paradox at best, pretty silly in fact.
Still want the hierarchies?