Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What Leaders Really Do

Summary:
Management is about coping with complexity.

Leadership is about coping with change.

Managers promote stability while leaders press for change, and only organizations that embrace both sides of that contradiction can thrive in turbulent times. LEADERSHIP IS DIFFERENT from management, but not for the reasons most people think. Leadership isn't mystical and mysterious. It has nothing to do with having "charisma" or other exotic personality traits. It is not the province of a chosen few. Nor is leadership necessarily better than management or a replacement for it. Rather, leadership and management are two distinctive and complementary systems of action. Each has its own function and characteristic activities.

...Good management brings a degree of order and consistency to key dimensions like the quality and profitability of products. Leadership, by contrast, is about coping with change...

...These two different functions-coping with complexity and coping with change-shape the characteristic activities of management and leadership.

Leaders : They don't make plans; they don't solve problems; they don't even organize people. What leaders really do is prepare organizations for change and help them cope as they struggle through it.

By John P. Kotter December 2001 HBR

Ok so that's not all you could say but I like what it does say. Any Comments?

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