As people read the new authorized Steve Jobs biography, they are realizing that although he was one of the greatest thinkers of our time, he seemed to lack “management skills”. This brought up an interesting management debate about which is more important for the success of a company: management or leadership.
What is Management?
Management is the art and science of controlling people, processes and technology to deliver maximum value through the prism of corporate values and beliefs.
What is Leadership?
Leadership is the gift of vision and direction. A true leader can think outside of the proverbial box and drive the business towards a completely new and yet undiscovered direction.
Leadership without Management
In an organization with a strong leader and weak management, the vision and direction are there. The company knows exactly where the leader wants to take them, however execution is usually sloppy which may even lead to the inability to exploit an otherwise fantastic new opportunity.
Management without Leadership
In this scenario, the company will lack vision and will exploit its existing position. The company may be a lean and mean operating machine but will eventually shrivel and die because their market will become smaller and smaller.
Leadership and Management
When a company has both, they are unstoppable and Apple is a prime example. Its fearless leadership duo was lead by Steve Jobs and Jon Ive. Two incredibly talented visionaries: one created new markets and the other one ensured the products had high desirability though impeccable design.
On the other end was the management mastermind Tim Cook. Many have said Tim is the supply chain genius that crafted their unique vendor management strategy that gives Apple unique access to brand new technology for 12-18 months.
This is a great time to take a step back and evaluate your own company. Who is leading your company? Does it have a little of both?