When discussing business leadership, the distinction between good management and good leadership is often made. Managers are thought to be the budgeters, the organizers, the controllers the ants, as one observer puts it while leaders are the charismatic, big-picture visionaries, the ones who change the whole ant farm.
But such a construction, those interviewed for this article agree, erroneously leads to a bimodal way of looking at something that should really be evaluated on two separate scales.
“Everybody has got a little bit of each in them,” says john Kotter, who admits he is sometimes guilty of using the dichotomy in an effort at simplification. “It’s much better to think in terms of measuring people on a zero-to-ten scale for each quality.”
Some great managers struggle with change and fail to be great leaders, while a great leader might fail to create a sense of stability in an organization and not measure up as a manager. HBS professor David Thomas points out that “increasingly, the people who are the most effective are those who essentially are both managers and leaders.”