The focus on leadership in the workplace may underplay the role that management has in the smooth functioning of organisations.
There is no doubt that leaders inspire others to do things that the latter might not have otherwise thought of or thought possible. Inspirational leadership creates an environment that encourages innovation and creativity.
But what if the work environment only had leaders and no managers?
Managers take the great ideas (and indeed have inspiring ideas of their own but sometimes may not have the courage or the encouragement to take the ideas further) and direction set by the leaders, to make the idea real.
They know how to look at the detailed requirements, are familiar with their staff as well as the local environment, and manage the change to the new paradigm.
Great managers often have the pulse of the organisation, can make or break the culture, love the challenge of making things happen and at all times are aware of the impact of the change on their staff and work closely with them to ensure that the new reality will work for all.
Great managers also have very good project management and risk management skills and bring this to bear when faced with new vision from leaders and the need to change the focus of the team and organisation to the new direction.
Covey, Peter Drucker and Warren Bennis, stated that “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”
Organisations therefore need both leaders and managers in order to realise the ultimate vision.