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Monday, May 30, 2011

On Leadershp: Kotter Post #4

What Leaders Really Do by John Kotter (originally published in the HBR, 1990). John Kotter is professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School and the guy who invented change management. In this piece, Kotter makes the distinction between management and leadership. And while I think it’s all about leadership, Kotter makes several key points. First, managers plan and budget, while leaders set the vision for the future by looking at trends and analysis. Second, managers organize and staff organizations, where leaders align people to mission. Finally, managers control activity and solve problems, whereas leaders motivate and inspire others around them. In short, think of managers as tactical and leaders as strategic—my words, not Kotter’s. So, my two cents: Shouldn’t every good leader be able to be both tactical AND strategic or at least orchestrate both skills in his/her organization?

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