Sunday, January 09, 2011

Management vs Leadership

"Management is a set of processes that can keep a complicated system of people and technology running smoothly. The most important aspects of management include planning, budgeting, organising, staffing, controlling, and problem solving.

Leadership is a set of processes that creates organisations in the first place or adapts them to significantly changing circumstances. Leadership defines what the future should look like, aligns people with that vision, and inspires them to make it happen despite the obstacles."

John Kotter

The problem with British Unitarianism, locally and nationally, is that we do management rather than leadership.


Anonymous Robertson said...

Stephen writes:-
"The problem with British Unitarianism, locally and nationally, is that we do management rather than leadership."It has been so for a long time - at least 30 years in my experience - now it has become the management of decline in all but a few significant places.I think that the same applies to the Methodists and the URC - the latter now smaller than either of the two constituent churches that formed it in the sixties.Unitarianism with its emphasis upon private judgement in matters of faith and its diversity of belief - it's not so much non-credal as multi-credal- is too nuanced to appeal beyond a relatively sophisticated and well educated minority and many of those would find little sustenance in many of our churches.

12:21 pm  
Anonymous Angela @ said...

Few of us are gifted at leadership - I am not for example. Sadly, it's true to say that I have been more inspired by the vision of a good CEO at work, than I have by any Unitarian.

Our structure does not naturally lend itself to leadership. Independence is highly valued, and everyone has a different opinion. It's hard for leadership to flourish.

OTOH it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of management and dismiss it as bean counting of one description or another.

4:01 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lingwood said...


I'm less convinced today that leadership is about "gifts" (innate). I'm more inclined today to think that leadership is about "skills" which can be learnt by most people.

5:20 pm  
Anonymous Angela @ said...

Sorry, yes,leadership skills can be learned. But, I've noticed that some people can naturally lead a crowd and others can't and need to lean on their position/reputation.

You would need a lot of reputation or natural talent to lead Unitarians. It's a tough crowd.

11:41 pm  

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