Explore the captivating dynamics of leadership vs management through the insights of Seth Godin. Discover the distinctions between these vital elements and gain valuable perspectives for your professional journey. Join us on this enlightening adventure and read now.
“If you are not uncomfortable in your work as a leader, it is almost certain you’re not reaching your potential as a leader.” – Seth Godin.
If you think management is a new term then you would be wrong. It has been around for centuries. Look at any important architectural structure built during the ages.
If there were no management or managerial roles involved do you think they would be standing even today?
The term management has now worked its way into the economic sector and is often connected with increasing effectiveness and prolificness.
In the face of today’s modern world, there is something more needed than management to get through to the next stage of business transformation.
At the Nordic Business Forum in Stockholm, the best-selling author and Entrepreneur Seth Godin spoke about the difference between leadership and management.
He spoke about leadership vs management, the confusion around both these topics, and why the world desperately needs more leaders than managers.
Leadership Vs Management
In Seth Godin leadership vs management discussion he held nothing back when talking about management, saying “When the world changes, management always fails because we don’t understand how to go forward.”
He explained that these are two completely different terms. Top-down management concepts came into existence from the era of Henry Ford, where companies mechanized the production process and workers received value for continuing the same mundane tasks.
But the world is changing, and according to Godin, we cannot just ‘manage’ our way out.
While he does accept that managers need authority to fulfill their functionalities, leaders are the ones to take responsibility. To understand this there is a simple example: A manager tells you the process you need to do a task and expects you to do it. But a leader will inspire you to create your processes.
Leaders are made to solve problems that may or may not be a part of their agenda. But managers are required to follow their agenda to a T.
Seth Godin Leadership vs Management talks about the fact that because we followed the archaic principles that were put in place generations prior, we have ended up with top-heavy management leadership-poor businesses. He explains that the root cause of this is our education system.
People are taught to be managers, not leaders. His explanation about the process comments that the concept of school was started to help improve industrialization.
The concept of following orders started from a young age, which in turn helped them become strong factory workers. Godin commented “We don’t educate people. We don’t teach them to solve interesting problems. We don’t teach them to lead.”
As a result, people tend to only follow a certain pathway shown to them and develop a fear of trying something new.
Seth Godin Leadership vs Management also discusses the concept of quality. At first, quality was considered to mean something high-class, expensive, and made with the finest products.
But realistically, quality means meeting a specification or living up to certain standards. In short, it means doing what it promised.
This means that the lean management system is deeply rooted.
For example, Quality control in Toyota means ensuring that all their products meet specific requirements.
As per Godin, the problem of quality is already solved. We already know the products that meet specifications and we should be striving for excellence.
In the present global market scenario, producing something specific to the standards will not help your business grow.
To stand out, it has to be beyond those set standards.
The next concept in Seth Godin Leadership vs Management is about soft skills. Aspects like trustworthiness, loyalty, and creativity.
Godin explains that these so-called ‘soft skills’ should really be called ‘real skills’ because these are the factors that differentiate between a good human employee and a robot.
He presented the group in the forum with a list of desirable traits and asked whether those were skills or the attitude of a person.
So, If You Are Not A Born Leader, Is It Difficult to Turn Into One?
No, it is not, but you must decide if you want to put in the effort to learn these skills to become one.
After this, Godin talks about one of the biggest fundamental skills of a good leader – decision-making capabilities. Godin asked the audience to remember a good decision they made in 2017. He then asked if they thought about a good decision or a good outcome. With the smiles across the faces of the audience, it was apparent that all good decisions do not lead to good outcomes.
Godin continued that there is a vast difference between making choices and making decisions.
Choices are irrelevant.
He says that in certain cases, you come to a fork in the road, you should make a decision and not be hung up on the choice you made.
Decisions about investing time, money, trust, and effort are the aspects that matter.
But sadly, we ignore these decisions according to Godin.
The next big topic he discusses is that quitting is also for winners.
According to Seth Godin Leadership vs Management, there are two times you should quit while ahead and one where you should never quit.
“Never quit in the dip” he comments. The dip is the initial period right after the beginning of a project. It is at this time when things become hard and the excitement of starting something new starts to dip.
You should quit before you start or at the end because if you make it through the ‘dip phase’ and see it is not worth it.
Godin’s main stressor point is to refocus the concept of innovation. He comments “If failure is not an option, then neither is a success.”
According to his experience, having effective leadership means helping a company navigate the slippery slope of success. “Leaders fund processes, managers find roads.”
Once you see something possible in your mind and are responsible for the decision to achieve that goal, then you build a process and become a leader.
Leaders of The Next Generation
Godin completes his talk by showing the bigger picture in Leadership vs Management.
What is the job of a leader?
To challenge the thoughts of people, to connect, communicate and build a culture. In the end, it is about leading the world in the best direction.
He comments that we have the world at our fingertips, with easy access to communication channels. We have the trust, the resources, the safety net of a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. So, how do we plan to build the world for future generations?
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