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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Management vs Leadership...

...who do we need the most...?

These two traits are easily misunderstood in my experience... 

First Leadership...

Think of great Leaders- who springs to mind...?



There are the classics including Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Winston Churchill. Any such list could arguably also include Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot...

Leadership, unfortunately, doesn't necessarily distinguish between what is right and wrong; it is simply an effective means of engaging people in a common philosophy towards a vision or shared goal...

There are so many books on Leadership - I would guess none of which have been read by anyone who became a great leader..

I don't think that Hitler had access to the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership before he went insane and took Europe into WWII.

I can't imagine that Winston Churchill learned his craft from a book; the fact that people feel the need to buy a book on Leadership suggests that they are not and will not become a Leader...

Fundamentally - leaders shine when there is a fight to be had...

Leaders emerge when there are times of oppression and desperation. The treaty of Versailles at the end of WWI created the environment for Hitler to come to power; rightly or wrongly he rose to power in the 1930's partially as a consequence of the allies attitude, in particular the French.

When times are good, and times are easy - leaders are not required...

Only in times of austerity and oppression do the greatest leaders emerge -  for good and for bad.

There aren't too many books out there that will tell you that in order to be a great leader you have to be in a situation of threat, persecution and oppression.

Wouldn't sell many books...

Management...

When times are good we need Managers - these are the people who keep things running, who maintain the status-quo and keep everything on track...

Management is not Leadership and Leadership is not Management...


How many great Managers spring to mind...?

With the exception of Football Managers, there are very few candidates. 

This is because Management is carried out in the background, it is the day to day activity that keeps an organisation running; there are no medals or statues for great Managers, just a salary and a promotion at the annual review if they are lucky...

Management is about making things happen and taking responsibility for the efficiency and productivity achieved in the process...

It is about Gross Profit, Net Profit and Cash, it's about team-building, morale and ratios. A great manager is someone who gets the best from people and resources; they are not necessarily the people to be the Leader of the company...

And here is the problem...

Managers can be trained, the skills are quantifiable and the disciplines and techniques well proven. Good Managers can manage anything, anytime and anywhere...

Leaders are forged by fire. They emerge when the situation and circumstances allow, without the Treaty of Versailles Hitler would have simply been a failed revolutionary who spent time in jail and wrote a book..

We need both, but we shouldn't confuse the two...

I see discussions and events about Leadership and how to refine the skills and attributes of people such that they become one; if you want to become a true Leader, find a cause and give up everything that you own, know and cherish in order to achieve it...

An unpalatable message for Executives in Western Europe, but everything else is just Management, not Leadership...


There is a vacuum in the World at the moment; a vacuum that is being filled with MBA's, Politicians and Executives with salaries and company cars. 

It is also being filled by the radical religious fundamentalists who challenge our very existence...

Out of the Vacuum we need Leaders to be created, not the easy slide towards UKIP in the UK or the right wing Front National in France - but a Leader of vision, fight and conviction...


Leaders we await your emergence - now is the time we need you the most...

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