Leadership versus management

As I was sitting in a meeting this afternoon (actually, I was sitting in my garden in the Autumn sun in a virtual meeting), I had an epiphany about the realities of leadership versus management in the time of Covid-19. Leaders lead the way, and managers then implement whatever needs to be implemented to support that way. Good leaders still lead the way even through previously uncharted territory, and they communicate calmly, confidently, truthfully AND regularly – so even if they don’t quite know where they are going, even if they can’t quite see how they’ll get there, they communicate their main message: that they will look after their people to the best of their ability. Good managers then scramble to make it happen.

If your leaders turn out to be managers rather than leaders in a time of crisis, they will say nothing until they have formulated a clear plan and an approved set of processes and sign-offs, despite the fact that such a level of clarity is not feasible when everything around them is changing every day. The end result is that, despite the best of intentions to support their people, they communicate nothing of substance, and their people can feel abandoned.

And for light relief in terms of leadership, I can’t go past this M*A*S*H Covid advice video

Or, in an absence of leadership, some useful advice to get you through from one of the great philosophers of the 20th century, Douglas Adams.


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