Leading…or it is managing?

I am intrigued by the ferocity of the leadership versus management debate in the popular business literature. It is both, of course. Steven Covey’s metaphor of the work crew building a road in the forest is useful: Someone has to climb up into the trees to see what’s ahead and determine the best path for the road. Someone else needs to be on the ground managing the team building it. Both roles are essential, as is cooperation between them.

The conflict arises when so called leaders think they have somehow transcended the mundane routine of management, or when so called managers focus on building a tightly controlled organization instead of providing a service or making a product.

“Truly effective and inspiring leaders aren’t actually driven to lead people; they are driven to serve them. “ Simon Sinak

One day we may understand the grip of ego, fear, envy, greed and a whole host of other frailties on humans who still accomplish remarkable things by leading, managing and lest we forget, working with their hands and heads. Until then, there will always be a role for psychologists, spiritual leaders …and consultants.