The Difference Between Leadership and Management

According to the dictionary, management is conducting, coordinating, being in charge of, having responsibility for. Managers master routines and create efficiency. In contrast, leading is influencing: guiding in direction, course, action or opinion. Leaders acquire vision and judgment and become effective.

According to Warren Bennis,

Another way to think about it is in terms of single-loop and double-loop adaptation. Single-loop adaptation refers to adjustments made to keep moving along a predetermined course. Like the action of a thermostat: you set it at 68 degrees, and when the temperature goes below 68 it turns on the heat, and when the temperature gets much above 68 it turns on the air conditioning.

A manager has a set of goals (responsibilities), and set of tools (authority) and they use the tools to accomplish the goals. In this sense, a manager is like a thermostat or single-loop governor.

Double-loop adaptation refers to adjusting not the actual temperature, but the desired temperature. Think of a smart thermostat that would notice that, in the winter, at night you often dial the temperature down to 60 degrees, but at 7am you turn it back up to 68. Then, when you leave the house, you turn it back down to 60, and so on. So it sees that and changes its desired setting based on the time of day and the activity level in the house.

In organizational settings, double-loop adaptation refers to reacting to situations not by fixing things so that everything is back to normal, but instead re-evaluating priorities -- looking beyond the way things have always been done and asking whether more fundamental change is needed.  This is the job of a leader.

Strategies of Leadership (according to Warren Bennis)

Vision. Vision refers to the management of attention. The creation of focus. The provision of an agenda of agendas. Vision creates commitment, interest and motivation. One kind of vision is a new and captivating idea of what is possible. Example: DEC remade itself as a networking company. Negative examples: the railroads did not have vision and died. 

Communication of Meaning. Manager communicates know-how. The leader communicates know-why. The leader provides the interpretation of events. Meaning comes from relating events to past events, to individual lives, and from touching emotions. Symbols and symbolic action can be used to communicate meaning. 

Examples: the metaphors that Martin Luther King was fond of (see speech). Another example is provided by Admiral Rickover of the Navy (now retired) who did not permit senior officers to have have a rule book. When he would take over a new post, he would publicly and literally throw the rule books in the trash.

Development of Trust Through Action. Leaders wears his or her vision like clothing. Leader becomes living epitome of their visions. This is another way of saying they have integrity -- they are internally consistent and reliable with respect to key elements that they stand for. 

Examples: Martin Luther King's non-violent approach to creating non-violence between races -- the message is in the method; Rickover's legendary (and very abrasive) honesty.

Deployment of self through positive self-regard. Recognize and utilize your strengths and compensate for weaknesses. Nurturing of skills with discipline: keep developing talents. Do not dwell on the possibility of failure. Simply trust that it will work out if you work steadily toward that goal. People who are happy with themselves can make others happy. This is related to Vision, and Communicaiton of Meaning above. Part of leadership is causing others to be touched by what Freud called the "oceanic" feeling:  an almost religious feeling of being part of something truly grand. 

Empower Others. Big things cannot be done alone. You cannot achieve great things without great help. Even if they end up getting the credit, it is better to be an unrecognized part of a successful enterprise than lord of a failure. And by empowering others, they feel greater due to their connection with you.

Work the Network. The social world does not consist of independent atoms or molecules, like a truckfull of sand. Instead, people are linked together in a vast network of communication and influence. To get things done, it is important to manage all the inputs that individuals have, rather than just the direct connection with the leader. 

Example: Admiral Rickover befriending the wives of congressmen.