Does a leader change only people?

Eric Dana Hansen added a comment to my recent “Manager vs. Leader definition” post.  In it, he refers to a work of his that touches on leadership.  If I’m reading him right, his take is that

management is based upon processes, order, and controls and that leadership is more about developing the potential in others. 

In my comment, I agreed with the first part about management, especially its emphasis on order and controls. However,

I’m don’t buy into leadership being strictly about people….  The reason I like the “Stultz” definition [referenced] in the post is [that] in changing the system, leaders must acknowledge and address all segments of the “people, process, technology” triad.

Also, the blogosphere must be on a manager vs. leader kick.  I just noted a couple of posts by Glenn Whitfield (here) and Andrew Meyer (here) that touch on an interesting dimension of the topic: IT strategy and alignment.

I’ll comment more directly on those tomorrow.

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2 Responses

  1. I agree with you about the triad–people, process, technology. Process and technology are the way we scale knowledge. So a “leader” that does not build process is not contributing to the future strength, viability and growth of the business, and is just chewing up the time of the organization’s people.

    I think that so many crave leadership today because too much of what should be a management task (creating and improving those processes) is misunderstood. Process becomes ad hoc–and a leader seems to be the only answer. The better we get at the management of IT and process, the more able leaders will be able to lead.

    To me, leadership is the ability to synthesize everything that is going on and communicate that vision back to the team in a way that resonates with them and helps them to do better. If you have a good baseline of processes and technology, then the leader can get you beyond today’s challenges and focus on tomorrow’s challenges.

  2. […] illustration of the manager/leader gap discussed earlier (here) is drawn in this back-and-forth among Glenn Whitfield (here), Andrew Meyer (here), and others.  […]

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