I found an interesting article on Harvard Business Review.org (http://bit.ly/17sAhAL ) about the differences between leadership and management – the “controlling” word caught my eye. The author set out 3 specific differences:
Managers count value but leaders create value;
Leaders have circles of influence and managers have circles of power;
Leaders lead people but managers manage work.
These points may make good sense at first read but is was the commentary used to describe the last point that really makes me uncomfortable. Here is the commentary:
Management consists of controlling a group or a set of entities to accomplish a goal. Leadership refers to an individual’s ability to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward organizational success. Influence and inspiration separate leaders from managers, not power and control.
On first read this might sound okay. But consider the following points.
When managers take a controlling approach:
In my experience the most successful managers I have met display the following characteristics – the opposite of the above assumptions:
In fact these assumptions look like the descriptions of the leadership role – inspiring people to contribute. So perhaps we would all like to be inspired rather than controlled. How about you?