Management AND Leadership
Definition based on Risks
Fresh from @PapaChrisMatts brain: Management: responsible for today's risks Leadership: discover tomorrow's risks Both not positions. Ty:-)
— Olaf Lewitz (@OlafLewitz) September 29, 2014
Definition based on Comfort Zone and Options
Management and Leadership are both activities, don’t need to be positions.
Everyone manages, and everyone may feel invited to lead.
Management of Our Comfort Zone
Management keeps our zone comfortable.
Management means: intentionally limit options to increase focus or limit known risk.
Leadership in Our Comfort Zone
Leadership expands our comfort zone.
Leadership explores new options with others. These may be invited to lead as well, they don’t need to follow.
Management and Leadership are Not Opposing Forces
Newton’s third law of motion states that every force is met by an equal opposing force. I have observed frequently how we talk about management and leadership as opposing forces. They aren’t. Just as you may move parts of your body while others stay still, you will manage some aspects of your system and lead in others, at the same time.
Let’s assume, for example, that you are preparing a dinner at home. I like to experiment with new recipes, ingredients, and ways to cook. That’s leading—exploring the boundaries of my comfort zone. I will only do that when I know the people who come for dinner—managing the risk. Limiting the options of upsetting somebody! If I happen to cook for people I don’t know well, I’ll choose a dish I’ve done before and feel safe to do well.
How This Came About
After the above tweet after a meeting in London in September I started thinking about Chris’ words. In a bookstore in Copenhagen in November, I found a book by Jessica Hagy of ThisIsIndexed fame: How to be Interesting. It contains a great drawing about the distance between our comfort zone and “Where the Magic Happens”, and inspired me to tweak it like this:
Preparing my keynote for the Toronto Agile Conference with Michael Sahota, the combination of Real Options, the comfort zone metaphor and Chris’ definition converged into this new idea.
How do you like it?