In today's emerging economy, the best companies require managers with strong management skills, as well as outstanding leadership abilities. According to the current wisdom, managers are principally administrators--they write business plans, set budgets and monitor progress. Leaders on the other hand, get organizations and people to change. That i's true, as far as it goes, but there is a more useful distinction between management and leadership: Management is a function that must be exercised in any business, whereas leadership is a relationship between leader and the employees that can energize an organization. Both management and leadership skills are essential for keeping a solid foundation during today's rapidly changing business world.
Of course, the management function can include problem solving and facilitating meetings as well as the traditional bureaucratic tasks. However, it is not necessary for the same person in a group to exercise all these tasks. Different people can take on parts of the management function.
Someone on a team can do the planning. Another person can do the budgeting. A third team member can monitor quality. Members of a team can take turns facilitating meetings. The team as a whole can share responsibility for meeting performance targets. In other words, organizations do not need managers to produce good management.
Management helps the business grow. The larger an organization is, the more ways information and materials can flow. As processes become more complex, small delays at each step add up to long delays shipping product and serving customers. Well-run projects are sometimes neglected, drift off course, and start to drain time and money instead of replenishing them. It is the manager's job to measure, root out the inefficient, prune the irrelevant, and bring errant projects back to the fold. Managers also guide people by setting up and running the...