The final speaker I will highlight from the Leaders in London event was former HP CEO Carly Fiorina. She covered a range of topics in a thoughtful fashion, but as it turns out she even has her own YouTube clip of her speaking about her views of the difference between Leadership and Management (thanks Barrett Center).

“There is a difference between management and leadership. Management is the production of acceptable results within known constraints and conditions. Very important. But management is not leadership.. Leadership is all about changing the order of things.”

Leader as change agent is a fairly common theme in defining leadership and is certainly consistent with my own model here. To achieve change, one certainly has to have a view to a new ‘upside’ to take the organisation to.

I do appreciate that she does not denigrate Management in turn. Too many writers on this topic characterise Management as that which holds back change. Her definition of management doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue but it is a very effective ‘dictionary’ definition that does seem to be consistent with this blog’s focus on the minimisation of downside (ie. ‘acceptable results’). I’m not sure that I concur with her ‘known constraints and conditions’ piece. It sounds like a very operational, almost administrative and mechanic focus. Looking at defined processes. I think ‘Management’ does deal with ill-defined unknown ‘constraints and conditions’ and in so doing, has to take risks in making decisions. It’s just that the approach to that risk is one that focuses on and minimises the downsides. 

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