Management is Doing Things Right, Leadership is Doing the Right Things


Management is Doing Things Right, Leadership is Doing the Right ThingsBefore you worry about doing things better, faster, cheaper, you should worry about whether you are even doing the right things.

After all, who cares about doing things right, if you aren’t even doing the right things.

Once you are doing the right things, then you can worry about doing things right.

In A Simple Statement: A Guide to Nonprofit Arts Management and Leadership, James Grady writes:

As Peter Drucker once proclained, management is doing things right — improving operational performance, maximizing revenues, and reducing expenses while increasing artistic production values and audience appreciation. Leadership is doing the right things — setting organizational priorities and allocating human and fiscal resources to fullfill the organization’s vision.

I like this simple distinction between leading and managing.

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  1. Do you happen to know the source of this great Peter Drucker quote? Everybody is quoting it, but I am having trouble finding out where Drucker wrote it. Some people also ascribe the quote to Warren Bennis. I’m puzzled. Hope you can help me out.

  2. The quote is derived from the following source (because the author is too lazy to cite it):

    Drucker, Peter F. The Practice of Mangement. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd., 1955. Print.

  3. its about time someone sourced the quote. However im quite sure this is actually a Warren Bennis quote. Unfortuately i dont have the source to confirms this but uni advisors say its so.

  4. @ Andrew — Warren Bennis is a smarty with a lot of gems so I wouldn’t be surprised. At the end of the day, all paths lead to the same town, so I think there are several variations, authors, and sources that express the same concept.

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