While reading an article on the difference between management and leadership in The Wall Street Journal, I spent some time reflecting on the point the author was making: In today's economy, the line between management and leadership is blurred. "In the new economy, where value comes increasingly from the knowledge of people, and where workers are no longer undifferentiated cogs in an industrial machine, management and leadership are not easily separated."
A couple of differences which are noted in the article that I want to point out:
- The manager is the classic good solider; the leader is his or her own person.
- The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.
- The manager is a copy; the leader is an original.
While I understand his rationale, his belief that management and leadership are no longer differentiated could not be further from the truth.
When meeting with companies to discuss our profit improvement strategies, I find there is a distinct line that separates the managers from the leaders. Managers simply maintain the resources given to them, not questioning whether or not improvements can be made. Leaders are proactive. They take steps to reduce costs and improve profits no matter the perceived risk.
Which best describes your actions? Those most often associated with the manager, or those of the leader?
KSM Profit Advisors, an affiliate of Katz, Sapper & Miller, helps companies increase profits and become more competitive by reducing costs through innovation and improved efficiency. For more information about how KSM Profit Advisors can help your company, contact Scott Grotjan at email@example.com.