False Dichotomy!
(If Anything, Backwards!)

I was asked to contribute “a paragraph” to a writer who was doing a magazine article on “management” “versus” “leadership.”

Herewith my contribution:

“It is sometimes said that the difference between ‘management’ and ‘leadership’ is ‘doing things right’ versus ‘doing the right thing.’ I think that’s nuts. In fact, let’s assume there is a ‘doing things right’ and a ‘doing the right thing.’ Well, both are of equal importance, and if anything ‘doing things right’ takes precedence. Another way to put it is that having an ‘excellent strategy’ is approximately worthless unless execution is equally ‘excellent.’ Far more things fail to come to fruition because of lousy execution than because of lousy strategy. (‘Execution is strategy’ is the way a boss of mine, Fred Malek, put it waaaaaay back in the 1970s.) Hence my ‘take no prisoners’ ‘bottom line’ is that ‘doing things right’ is as much a part of effective leadership as ‘doing the right thing.'”—Tom Peters/1217.09

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Tom Peters posted this on December 17, 2009, in Leadership.
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