Managers v. Leaders

Horace Dediu on his Critical Path podcast:

Leadership is getting people to follow you in a direction they wouldn’t normally go. Leadership is about getting them to follow you in a direction that they actually feel is dangerous. There isn’t a lack of courage, there’s a lack of courage at the right time.

He goes on to express that true leadership includes a consideration for ethics and values as well, so he wouldn’t consider Hitler, for example, a leader, or at least not a good one.

Horace was discussing Microsoft, RIM and Nokia and their failings. He is more asking than telling: are these companies that are being managed or are they being led? As he discusses this, though, I can’t help but think of politics. We have two men running for president, neither of which are distinguishing themselves as leaders. In a time when we desperately need a great leader, our choice comes down to two managers.

Another great quote from Horace’s podcast:

When you need to do it, you are usually in a comfortable position. This is where I think the next highest level of leadership comes when you do the unpopular thing when everything is going well.


4 thoughts on “Managers v. Leaders

  1. Hey Elia,

    Here are some more thoughts about a Leader from Gabriel Acosta-Mikulasek

    A leader is someone you follow because you know that in return for following they will take care of some of your concerns. Or put a different way, a leader is someone you say is committed to taking care of some number of your concerns that you say are important and that you say the leader will take care of in a more cost effective manner than you can (power.)

    The commitment to be a leader is the commitment to ongoing learning to be a leader.

    Leadership is a journey without end. The joy is in the journey.

    Leadership is a commitment. It requires Ethics.

    Leadership is who you are, (your moment by moment behaviors) which results in what you do. It is NOT what you say.

    To lead you need to understand how to listen, not just hear. To listen for concerns.

    Leaders Coordinate and Cooperate action and know the difference.

    Leaders value other people. They know that it is impossible to succeed on their own.

    Leaders are finitely patient.

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