Even great leaders should have strong management skills

Monday, December 2nd, 2013 By Jack Nevison

Is there a difference between leadership and management?

Harvard Business Review blog contributor Rosabeth Moss Kanter writes that many people think so. It is common, for example, to hear people argue that projects fail because there are too many managers and not enough leaders.

"Leadership is uplifting, they imply, while management is boring—just a bunch of rigid bureaucrats spinning red tape, or emphasizing efficiency over effectiveness," she writes.

However, Kanter adds that, in her experience with many executives, she has found that "this is a false choice." Great leaders can also manage, because they are able to balance their far-reaching visions with the practical "tasks of execution."

"Good management is a series of well thought-through actions including phases, communications, checkpoints, customer-impact-testing, metrics, contingencies, and feedback loops, designed to produce specified results on time and on budget, based on known circumstances," Kanter writes. "Where circumstances are unknown, as with innovations, then good management proceeds in a series of pilot tests, rehearsals, or rapid prototypes, in which early feedback at a small scale improves later execution at a bigger scale."

She notes how some are calling for leaders in many industries to pass a special management test, similar to those that doctors and lawyers are required to pass before they can practice. "Let's bring management skills back into leadership," Kanter concludes. "While asking managers to become more visionary, let us also insist that leaders should be able to manage well."

New Leaf's program, "Leading Project Teams," will show you how to combine management and leadership skills.

PMP certification is another way to demonstrate that you have top project management skills. New Leaf Project Management offers programs to help you earn your PMP, and several ways to maintain your status. Our free white papers and QPM, our online estimating game, let you learn while you earn PDU credits for PMP recertification.

PMI®," PMP®," and "PMBOK®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

"QPM™" is a registered mark of New Leaf Project Management. All rights reserved.

Categories Formal Project Management | Tags:

Social Networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google Bookmarks, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Posterous.

You can follow any follow up comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.