The Difference Between Managing and Leading

As best as I’ve seen it summed up:

“No one has yet figured out how to manage people effectively into battle — they must be led.”


  1. I saw that quotation, and I immediately remembered Joel Spolsky’s take on this.

    “The military uses Command and Control because it’s the only way to get 18 year olds to charge through a minefield, not because they think it’s the best management method for every situation”

    Military leadership is a questionable metaphor for civilian activities.

  2. I’m certainly sympathetic to that point. We could replace “battle” with “”periods of uncertainty, change, and great obstacles” or something similar.

    btw, my answer to Joel’s interview question is “Run back the way you came while partially turning back to fire your gun at the enemy.”

    Interesting that he bashes command and control, then uses a battle metaphor to make his point ;-)

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