Sunday, November 13, 2011

Leadership and Management

'Balanced' photo (c) 2010, Earl McGehee - license: Perman shared this excellent article by John Kotter on the actions of leaders compared to mangers.

These two different functions - coping with complexity and coping with change-shape the characteristic activities of management and leadership

The best leaders are attuned to these set of complimentary skills.  I was thinking of this when I read this summary of Anne Mulcahy's address to the Stanford Business School discussing her work turning around a near bankrupt Xerox in the early 2000's.  She instituted immediate cost cutting and efficiency protocols to begin to stem the tide of debt, and at the same time she focused the organization on their core value of innovation, not cutting any money from research and development.  I also appreciate her comments about the centrality of communication to her successful leadership.

"I feel like my title should be Chief Communication Officer, because that's really what I do," she said, emphasizing the importance of listening to customers and employees. "When I became CEO, I spent the first 90 days on planes traveling to various offices and listening to anyone who had a perspective on what was wrong with the company. I think if you spend as much time listening as talking, that's time well spent."

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