Both are very important in organizational life and shouldn't be confused.
Leadership is doing the right thing; management is doing things right. Managers direct the hacking of a new path through the jungle; leaders make sure that they are in the right jungle.
One of the major contributions that a leader can make is to always be able to distinguish between these two important functions. We often become so focused on the day-to-day realities of what we do that we lose sight of whether we are doing the right thing.
Leaders often have to ask the hard questions: Are we getting the best results possible? Where can we improve? Who is not learning and what can we do about it? Are there ethical issues involved? What knowlwedge and skills do our staff need, and how will they get them? Will the proposed staff development give us what we need? Is our strategic planning effective? These queries will help you challenge the status quo that is often accepted without question.
Think about the leadership role you play and ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you doing what you are doing?
- What data do you have to show that you are addressing the right problems and doing the right work?
- How are you spending your time? What percentage of your day is spent on managing tasks? What percentage of your day is focused on setting the course, engaging with others and providing leadership?
- Are you sure you are "doing the right things" before you set up procedures to "do things right"?
From: Leading Every Day by Joyce Kaser, Susan Mundry, Katherine E. Stiles, & Susan Loucks-Horsley
Published by: Corwin Press