Q&A Management on LinkedIn
Sonia asked: "Can someone be a good leader but not a great manager?"
This is a question that is just as relevant to Recruitment Professionals in California, as it is to recruiters in London, Consultants in Brussels and elsewhere. So here's my answer:
I subscribe to many of the views presented above. Leadership and management call for very different skill sets, I find it to be a serendipitous occurrence when the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ come together in the right proportions within one individual.
A leader is basically a salesman - able to project his passion unto others and garner their succour and support for his cause. He is a visionary and inspiration is his mojo. Great leaders lead by example.
A manager on the other hand is an organizer by nature - following a course already plotted by the leader is his primary function. His virtues are patience, consistence, prioritizing, etc.
A leader is typically brash, opting for high-risk/high reward plans, he is high in influence, initiative and dominance, he is an idea engine and a spontaneous strategist, whereas a manager is a level-headed executor that ensures the long-term goals are met and the wheels keep spinning.
So a leader with nil managerial skill is fire out of control that will eventually burn itself out, unless a manager steps in to harness the raw power and channels it productively, whereas a manager without a leader would have nothing to manage, as he is not the creative innovator/initiator, his gifts lie in organization and maintenance. A leader is focussed on the end goal, whereas the manager navigates all the hurdles on the way to it.
When the leader strikes a spark to light the fire, the manager takes over and maintains it, keeping the dream alive!
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Oleg K. Temple, April 2011