I agree that it is difficult to have both Leadership and Management, but balancing both is the mark of a true executive master. Seth Godin tends to fear this balance and when pushed sides clearly for the Leadership side of the equation. His recent post “Urgency and accountability are two sides of the innovation coin” provides an example of this preference of the urgency/leadership side over the accountable/manager side…
- “As organizations and individuals succeed, it gets more difficult to innovate. There are issues of coordination, sure, but mostly it’s about fear. The fear of failing is greater, because it seems as though you’ve got more to lose. So urgency disappears first. Why ship it today if you can ship it next week instead? There are a myriad of excuses, but ultimately it comes down to this: if every innovation is likely to fail, or at the very least, be criticized, why be in such a hurry? Go to some more meetings, socialize it, polish it and then, one day, you can ship it. Part of the loss of urgency comes from a desire to avoid accountability.”
But there is clearly a balance of set things right and getting things shipped (ask Microsoft about Vista).
The Fathermom blog has a good post on Leadership and Management which talks about a phrase he picked up in Memphis – “I’m going to be in a slow hurry about that.”
Executives who balance Leadership and Management need to be in a slow hurry.