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TITLE: Leadership vs. Management
By Bill Ebert
12/19/04
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A proper understanding of leadership is best revealed when compared to management. Our vernacular of business makes the two terms synonymous but in reality they have vast differences. Confusing the two have caused many organizations to fail. Leaders and managers not understanding the differences may not see the need for the other and to not recognize their strengths and weaknesses.

The qualities, skill sets and personalities that make one a good leader will often prohibit him from being a great manager. Conversely the qualities that make great managers are often the stumbling blocks that keep him from being a truly great leader.

To be successful, managers are and must be detail oriented. Leaders must be big picture or concept focused. Good leaders usually dislike details and good managers may have a hard time seeing past them.

Being too focused on details will distract from big picture activities, not being able to see the forest for the trees. A leader in a management position will have a tendency to always try to see from wide angle and therefore have some details fall through the cracks.

The rewards of advancement in American business are usually given to those with good management skills. Our society's advancement system makes it difficult for great leaders to rise to a position of leadership. A leader will rarely be good enough at the managerial skills required for advancement within the system - unless he devotes himself to exercising his weak arm in preparation for the time when an opportunity arises for him to lead.

Good leaders will develop a dependence on the detail-oriented manager. Those in management -as well as those in leadership- would do well to recognize the need for each in every enterprise. This will allow those with differing skill sets to do what they do best.

Countless times, history has proven that in times of crisis, leaders rise to the occasion to achieve greatness. Living lives without these crisis situations and circumstances, these men and women would have otherwise been passed over as mediocre individuals. Greatness in leadership can be found in those around us if we know what to look for. If we will help them overcome their obstacles and give them the opportunity to lead we will be surprised at the difference in a single individual when they are placed in an area of strength and given the chance to do what they are naturally inclined to do.

Bill Ebert
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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