blogger web statistics

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Leadership and Management

About a month ago, I had an opportunity to interview for a 2nd promotion - going from the equivalent of "Subject Matter Expert" to "Group Lead." Basically, getting the lead job would fast-track my rise to upper management at a Fortune 100 company - not a mean feat by any means, especially for someone with hearing loss.

Unfortunately, I didn't even get a second interview. I typically interview well and have the credentials to back up what say, so I wanted to find out what I needed to improve. It turns out, I might not have as good of a grasp as I thought on what is "Leadership" and "Management."

Right now, to me, leadership and management are nearly synonymous - leaders tend to be in positions of managing others to reach goals. Leaders are at the forefront, managers are at the top. I've worked under managers who tend to lead by example. So, color me confused when my boss tells me that they're two completely and utterly different concepts. However, instead of simply telling me his opinion, I'm tasked with interviewing the managers who interviewed me - and getting their perspective in the meantime.

After talking with the three managers, it boils down to thus:

1) Leaders focus on the big picture. They set the goals, the vision, the "mission accomplished" point - but rarely do they handle the details that are left to the managers, leading us to...

2) Managers focus on the day to day details. They facilitate the tasks to reach the goals, vision, etc. They resolve the little personnel conflicts, coach the staff into better performers, manage time spent on activities, checking off things little by little until the leader announces "Mission Accomplished!"

So which skill am I apparently lacking in? #2. Curses.

The upside is, I've got a plan of action to tackle that. Time to go a-huntin' for trouble to practice fixing!

No comments:

Post a Comment