Leaders and Managers

Leaders and leader/managers distinguish themselves from the general run of managers in at least six respects:

  1. They think longer term—beyond the day’s crises, beyond the quarterly report, beyond the horizon.
  2. In thinking about the unit they are heading, they grasp its relationship to larger realities—the larger organization of which they are a part, conditions external to the organization, global trends.
  3. They reach and influence constituents beyond their jurisdictions, beyond boundaries. Thomas Jefferson influenced people all over Europe. Gandhi influenced people all over the world. In an organization, leaders extend their reach across bureaucratic boundaries—often a distinct advantage in a world too complex and tumultuous to be handled “through channels.” Leaders’ capacity to rise above jurisdictions may enable them to bind together the fragmented constituencies that must work together to solve a problem.
  4. They put heavy emphasis on the intangibles of vision, values, and motivation and understand intuitively the non-rational and unconscious elements in leader- constituent interaction.
  5. They have the political skill to cope with the conflicting requirements of multiple constituencies.
  6. They think in terms of renewal.

– John W. Gardner

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