My Fulbright experience has been an intensely productive one. All of my goals for the year, from photography to teaching to language study, are all part of an larger goal to develop more effective leadership skills. In this line, part of my work here has been to research models of leadership and in doing so I came across this excellent comparison between leadership and management, written by self-help guru Steven Covey:
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
You can quickly grasp the important difference between the two if you envision a group of producers cutting their way through the jungle with machetes. They’re the producers, the problem solvers. They’re cutting through the undergrowth, clearing it out.
The managers are behind them, sharpening their machetes, writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and compensation programs for machete wielders.
The leader is the one who climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, “Wrong jungle!”
I love the simplicity of this analogy. It’s so easy to get sucked into the details of management and lose sight of The Big Picture. Now to put it to work . . .