Managers and Leaders: Are They Different? (HBR Classic) / Abraham Zaleznik

Book Cover Managers and Leaders: Are They Different? (HBR Classic)
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/ Abraham Zaleznik
Publisher: Harvard Business Review
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Sales Rank: 3

Managers and leaders are two very different types of people. Managers' goals arise out of necessities rather than desires; they excel at defusing conflicts between individuals or departments, placating all sides while ensuring that an organization's day-to-day business gets done. Leaders, on the other hand, adopt personal, active attitudes toward goals. They look for the opportunities and rewards that lie around the corner, inspiring subordinates and firing up the creative process with their own energy. Their relationships with employees and coworkers are intense, and their working environment is often chaotic. In this article, first published in 1977, the author argues that businesses need both managers and leaders to survive and succeed. But in the larger U.S. organizations of that time, a "managerial mystique" seemed to perpetuate the development of managerial personalities--people who rely on, and strive to maintain, orderly work patterns. The managerial power ethic favors collective leadership and seeks to avoid risk. That same managerial mystique can stifle leaders' development--How can an entrepreneurial spirit develop when it is submerged in a conservative environment and denied personal attention? Mentor relationships are crucial to the development of leadership personalities, but in large, bureaucratic organizations, such relationships are not encouraged. Businesses must find ways to train good managers and develop leaders at the same time.
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