Leadership Ideas

Are you a Leader or Manager?

Jim Collins, author and management researcher, describes a Manager as one who "organizes people and resources toward the effective and efficient pursuit of pre-determined objectives". He describes an effective Leader as one who "catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards." Notice the choice of words Collins uses -- "organizes people and resources,""efficient pursuit", compared to "catalyzes commitment,""vigorous pursuit,""vision".

The 21st Century

Warren Bennis, an authority on leadership, believes that a new generation of leaders, not managers, is needed for the 21st century. He states that today, many businesses, organizations and institutions are over-managed and under-led. Here are some of the distinctions Bennis made:

Manager: maintains / Leader: develops

Manager: short-range view / Leader: long-range perspective

Manager: asks how and when / Leader: asks what and why

Manager: has eyes on the bottom line / Leader: has eyes on the horizon

Manager: accepts the status quo / Leader: challenges the status quo


More Leadership Comparisons

John Kotter, an expert on business leadership, contrasts Management and Leadership in this way:

Management: Planning and budgeting, establishing detailed steps, allocating resources

Leadership: Establishing direction, developing and achieving a vision

Management: Organizing and staffing, carrying out the plan, monitor implementation

Leadership: Aligning people, communicating direction, influence creation of teams

Management: Controlling and problem solving, monitoring results, solve problems

Leadership: Motivating and inspiring, energizing people to overcome barriers

Management: Produces a degree of predictability and order

Leadership: Produces change, often to a dramatic degree



"A leader faces the music, even when he doesn't like the tune." (Anon.)

"The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, "Go!", a leader says,"Let's go!"" (E.M. Kelly)

"Leadership is a combination of strategy and character. If you must be without one, be without the strategy." (Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf)

"The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision." (Theodore Hesburgh)


Words for the Workplace Vocabulary:

BLAMESTORMING: Sitting around in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed, and who was responsible.

CUBE FARM: An office filled with cubicles

PRAIRIE DOGGING: When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm, and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on.

ADMINISPHERE: The rarified organizational layers beginning just above the rank and file. Decisions that fall from the adminisphere are often profoundly inappropriate or irrelevant to the problems they were designed to solve.

OHNOSECOND: That miniscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just hit the delete key and didn't save that file.

MOUSE POTATO: The on-line generation's answer to the couch potato.



Bennis, Warren, Managing People is Like Herding Cats. Provo, UT: Executive Excellence Publishing, 1997. ISBN 0-9634917-5-X

Collins, Jim, Good to Great. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. ISBN 0-06-662099-6

Kotter, John P., Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996. ISBN 0-87584-747-1

Secretan, Lance, Inspire! What Great Leaders Do. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. ISBN 0-471-64882-5