Sklover’s Monday Thought: “Seek out Good Managers, and Great Leaders.”

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“Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.”

– Peter Drucker

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Peter Drucker, renowned management consultant, educator and author, had it right: though “Manager” and “Leader” are often used interchangeably, it’s important to recognize they do very different things.

Indeed, Managing and Leading are (a) two wholly different functions, (b) requiring two different skillsets, (c) each needing a different perspective, and, quite often, (d) suitable to two different personalities.

I’ve always thought of a good Manager as a human, efficient Computer: a machine of the human type who knows just how and best to put the right resources “in” and get the right results “out.” I don’t mean to disparage good Managers as cold, mechanical or soul-less. Quite to the contrary, they are highly skilled at getting things done and done well, achieving the needed results, on budget, and on time. That requires a whole lot more than just “following a recipe book.”

As distinct from good Managers, I’ve always thought of great Leaders as search lights, focused on the horizon, if not beyond, seeking the best goals, the best ideas, the best paths forward, and the best people to help them get there. They provide vision, insight and inspiration.

Rather than seeing management as “machine-like,” Drucker presented a holistic approach to operating an organization. He believed that a successful manager needs to understand subjects like psychology, science and religion, and to be guided by ethical and moral principles. No “machine” does that.

And Drucker believed that business leaders need to embrace the “spirit of performance,” by displaying high levels of moral and ethical integrity in their actions, focusing on results, empowering employees, going beyond the financial obligations to shareholders, ultimately serving not only the corporate good but the common good, as well.

Within your organization, and when considering new opportunities externally, seek out and gravitate toward good Managers. Don’t shy away from them, no matter how driven or demanding they may seem. They are key to your most essential education, and can guide your growth to your greatest success.

Within your organization, and when considering opportunities externally, keep your eyes and ears open for the great Leaders among us who truly lead their organizations, though they are few and far between. And, don’t shy away from them, either, no matter how illuminating may be their presence or far-forward may be their guidance. Just put your seat belt on and go along for the ride!

In counseling my clients, Managers and Leaders among them, as well as clients who work with Managers and Leaders on a daily basis, this subject – which I find truly fascinating – comes up a lot. Always know, observe and appreciate the essential difference between managing and leading, and which you may enjoy more.  

A dear friend and colleague in the Talent Acquisition and Management field sent us this insightful Peter Drucker quote. We thank you!!! 

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