Is Management More Important than Leadership?
By Bhavin Gandhi
It is fashionable now days to separate “leaders” from “managers”. Some people may define Leaders as – “those who do the right things” and Managers as – “those who do things right”. I used to define Management and Leadership in the same way, before I realized that I might be missing the big picture. Most of the Leaders don’t define management as a part of Leadership anymore. And that’s where they are going in the wrong direction. With this mentality of differentiation between Leadership and Management, many leaders are detaching themselves from the messy process of managing. Thus, most of the times they don’t know what’s going on.
The truth is, many of the strategies in today’s world are built in isolation at the “top”. If this wouldn’t be the reason then we wouldn’t have seen major financial and automobile companies failing. Today, most of the Managers are told to meet their targets, or they will let go. This approach shapes-up Manager’s thinking. Instead of taking risks to create new opportunities, they become busy in meeting their targets. Besides, with so many of their colleagues gone in downsizing, they feel like, they have less and less time to think. This approach induces a big gap between Management and Leadership. Instead of thinking about the long-term vision (right thing), Managers become busy in looking good for the next quarter and “doing things right”.
Leaders/Managers of today don’t understand the fact that – Leadership and Management, both are interlocking competencies. One can’t exist without the other. I see leadership within the positional powers of managership. I understand that Managers are focused on serving the short term bottom-line numbers, to serve their own survival; while Leaders are suppose to live by the values in serving the larger and long term interest of stakeholders. But if Leaders start to manage within their organization, instead of impressing outsiders, then the organization can be efficient and successful. As far as my question is concerned – “Is Management more important than Leadership?”, I think that they both are really important. And if we can somehow create a tight bond between Leadership and Management then we can avoid companies from failing.
Bhavin Gandhi, MBA, MSc, has over 9 years of business experience in various aspects of Leadership and Management roles in private and public organizations. You can read more from Bhavin on his blog.