Let's keep things simple:

Point 1: Business has two aspects: people and processes.

Point 2: Humans (at one level) have two aspects: Their ‘Being’ (inner self) and their ‘Doing’ (outer performance).

Point 3: Leadership relates to people (their ‘Being’); management relates to processes (their ‘Doings’).

To explain more fully:

 We are Human BEINGS. While difficult to define ‘Human Being’ simply, it is helpful to identify the distinctions within this intrinsic (or inner) world:

  • Emotions and feelings
  • Instinct and intuition
  • Beliefs (what we hold to be true)
  • Values (what is most important)
  • Meaning, purpose and motivation
  • Principles and life philosophy


But we’re also Human DO-ers, we do things which occur in the extrinsic (‘outer world’), the world of transaction. The distinctions here are easier to calibrate:

  • Facts and figures
  • Actions , performance and metrics
  • Results and outcomes
  • Systems and processes
  • Efficiencies

This gives us an immediate insight into the respective orientations within leadership and management: Lead people, manage things



Push the limits



Initiating and originating

Macro, telescope


Innovation towards ‘what could be’


Business as usual



Responding and reacting

Micro, microscope

Measuring metrics

Improvement on ‘what is’

The question arises, which is more influential, the inner world or the outer world? The inner. If we’re feeling sick or bad about ourselves, our performance is lower.

This gives an insight into why intrinsic motivators are more effective than extrinsic motivators (e.g. the power of recognition vs that of a bonus); and the comparative impact of strong leadership vs strong management.

It is understood that both leadership and management skills are needed at organisational, team and personal levels. The two cannot operate in isolation. Emergence occurs in the overlap.

Management involves getting the work done, while leadership involves getting people keen to do the work. What’s the point of an enthused, empowered and inspired team without the systems, processes and technologies that enable optimal performance?

The two are dance partners, jointly responding to the rhythm and call of a particular compelling future. Put another way, you need both blades of a pair of scissors to be effective.

“Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead” – Ross Perot

Unfortunately, however…

“Most organisations are over-managed and under-led” - John Kotter, Harvard Business School

An effective leader is a ‘people person’ who seeks to get the best from all staff. They connect with, and maintain a high visibility with everyone in their team. They identify the strengths in those around them, and allocate opportunities that challenge people to go beyond what they know how to do.

They engage people in debating key issues upfront then co-create the plans. Their passion and enthusiasm for the team or organisation's vision and purpose is highly contagious. They fire the imaginations, develop the capabilities, and build the confidence of people to "go for it."

They give others the investment and ownership they need to produce results, independent of the leader. They give ownership for the end goal, make the scorecard visible then expect complete work.

So, would you prefer to be lead or managed? Do you prefer to be inspired toward fulfilment or compared into compliance (which carries a sense of manipulation).

The message here is simple, effective leadership needs both leadership and management.

Start first with leadership (connect, enthuse and recognise your most valuable resource – your people). Support this with the measurement, comparison and metrics of management.

Lifting performance is a combination of travelling back and forth between the big picture (the possibilities for the future), and the grunt work (the demands of the here and now), then back to the big picture… and so on.