Leaders manage and managers lead, but the two activities are not synonymous. Leadership and management are different. They are distinctive and complementary. Each has its own functions and characteristics. Both are necessary for the organization to fulfill its divine purpose.
Many pastors are great spiritual managers. They are excellent shepherds. They love people and have well-developed “people skills” that enable them to minister one-on-one in sensitive situations. They genuinely care about the people and find satisfaction in helping them work through their problems. They effectively lead the Sunday morning meeting, putting together a program that will inspire, challenge and invigorate the people. During the week they are available to counsel, comfort, and help the people work through their problems. Certainly, this is not bad, but it is not necessarily “leadership.”
Management is a set of processes that can keep a complicated organization of people running smoothly. Leadership is a set of processes that creates organizations in the first place or changes them to be what they could or should be.
Management deals with complexity. Leadership deals with change.
Leaders are visionaries. They think about the “big picture” issues of the long-term future. Managers are more concerned with making things work now.
The following diagram compares leadership with management, showing time against detail of activity.
It is obviously important that both ovals receive attention. If everyone spends all his time on visionary thinking (top right-hand corner), there will be plenty of dreaming but no action. However, if the sole area of concern is the bottom left-hand corner of the diagram, there will be much activity without integration, cohesion, direction or long-term purpose.
Someone said, “Action, without vision, is just passing the time. Vision, without action, is dreaming.” A healthy organization needs both leaders and managers! Get your copy of Leaders and Managers here. To purchase more of our books, visit https://www.strategicpress.org/