It's an old, old debate - which is more important, management or leadership? It's addressed in John P Kotter's book Accelerate too. There's a nice graphic to accompany it too that reinforces how BOTH are actually very important. First, however, it's important to think about the different role that each one of these plays:
- Management - is responsible for stability and efficiency - both are needed to run a successful business
- Leadership - is what creates the changes that are necessary to take advantage of new opportunities and move in new directions
Kotter writes about how organizations evolve. He writes that any organization over 10 years old and with more than 30 employees will tend to have many people working on management issues and doing these effectively. However he writes that in the majority of cases sufficient leadership is not evident. Now as long as things are fairly stable, there are not many challenges and there is little competition, you can survive with this situation. The problem is that this "stable" world is quickly disappearing.
Here is the Management-Leadership Matrix. It shows clearly what happens in organizations that have good management AND leadership, good management but poor leadership, good leadership but poor management and neither management nor leadership. It's been interesting to think about the schools where I have worked and to consider which quadrant they fit into.