A Look at Management vs. Leadership


In this edition of MPi News we felt that the subject of Leadership needed a through look given that "these times" require strong leadership.

In this edition of MPi News we felt that the subject of Leadership needed a through look given that “these times” require strong leadership.

But what IS leadership?

The thoughts below seem as relevant today as when we first spotted them back in 2009.   

The article is based on one published by Roy H. Williams from the Wizard of Ads Wizard Academy and we thank him for explaining his view as to the sharp difference between Leaders and Managers. 

Be warned - some of the views will be polarising!

Boldness Buys the Priceless  - A Look at Management vs. Leadership

Maybe I’m splitting hairs, but businesspeople who say “leadership” usually mean, “being a good manager.”

But leadership and management, in my experience, are virtually opposite skill sets.

Management requires wisdom, patience and strength. Basically, it’s parenting, bringing forward the best of the past, enforcing the status quo.

Leadership requires independence, audacity and courage. It's inherently defiant, questioning the past, challenging the status quo. 

And then there are those perky Chihuahuas barking; 

“Leadership! Leadership! Put me in charge! I’ll tell everyone what to do! I’m a trained leader, I’ve been to a seminar!”

No, you’re just a weasel who wishes he were the furry-hatted drum major of a marching band. (Yes, I have a prejudice against self-styled leaders. Does it show?) 

True leaders require no authority. They think their own thoughts, make their own decisions, carry out their own plans. They say, “This is what I’ve decided to do.”

And then they do it. Others see them doing it and decide to follow.

Leaders lead from the front.

Managers manage from behind.

Alexander the Great was always the first over the wall of an enemy city. Whether his men followed him was up to them. Alexander was a true leader. “I’m going in, boys!”

Geronimo, the famous Apache leader, was not a tribal chief but a spiritual advisor, a historian of the people and a protector of their beliefs. He said, "I have something I need to do." And when the other Apaches saw what he was doing, they decided to help him.

The Architect of the landmark buildings at Wizard Academy, Marley Porter, is a true leader. Those of us who love Marley know he is barely passable as a manager but when it comes to visionary architecture, few architects are in his class. 

In fact, most architects have never even glimpsed his class.

Who but a leader says, "Let's build the chapel over the edge of the cliff."

Then, when the real estate agent pointed into the rocky crag below that cliff and said, "Those 7 acres are throwaway land. Basically, you're getting those acres for free," Marley Porter said, "That's where we're going to build the student mansion."

 When I said, "We need a classroom tower," Marley finished the sentence, "with an underground entrance."

Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous design, Fallingwater, is a home built over a waterfall. Any architect might have drawn it, but none had the courage to suggest something so absurd.

Every American architect studied Frank Lloyd Wright in college but few of them will ever draw anything like Fallingwater. These architects have intellect, training and talent. What they lack is the audacity.

How about you?

Do you have the audacity to do your own thing, go your own way and ride your own bullet without ever looking back?

A Marley Porter building doesn't require a lot of money, but it does require a boatload of courage.

Fortunately, our board of directors has that in abundance and are a constant source of inspiration to me.

Maybe boldness is genetic.

Maybe it's a product of environment.

But I think it's just a choice.

Source: Roy H. Williams from the Wizard of Ads Wizard Academy