Amazon is not only a great source of books on any topics, but also hosts a number of robust forum discussions as well. A recent one on the topic of ‘Leadership and Management’ shows how lively this debate is. Some of my favourite quotes from the discussion include…
“It seems that no longer do we talk about "management", rather "leadership" is considered the fashionable thing to discuss and to teach… Management is mandatory. Not managing effectively and efficiently to meet one’s assigned responsibilities means certain organisational death. Leadership on the other hand, is optional.” – Robert Selden
“I have come to believe that a leader will often emerge, while a manager will be assigned.” – K.Gomes
One of the most commonly voiced perspectives in the Amazon debate is the distinction that ‘Leadership is about people, Management is about things/resources.’ I explored this perspective in some depth in my post ‘People Ready.’ I just don’t find this distinction satisfactory because I have observed too many instances of great leaders and great leadership who were actually quite backward or even antagonistic towards people. Some defenders of this position would say that perhaps on the ‘outside’ the leader lacked people skills, but deeper down they really did assert an impact on people so it was about the people in the end.