Monday, 4 May 2015

Differences between a leader and a manager

The tweet edited by Julio Mayol lead to a video about an intervention of John Sculley, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the beginning of Apple. Those who have seen the movie about the life of Steve Jobs will recall that Sculley was the Pepsi Cola manager joining a young and sassy Apple, in order to turn it into a business. Those who have not seen it should know that this ended badly, especially because the leader, Steve, had a vision focused on innovation, while the businessman was focused on market and profits. Jobs was fired in 1985 and the company without him, continued fighting in an emerging market, with good results, as Sculley wanted, but without the punch of a leader. Jobs ended up buying Apple, thirteen years later, when the company, now without Sculley managing it, went into bankruptcy.

These two figures: the leader and the manager are essential for businesses, both public and private ones alike. The leader is associated with the vision, and thus with a project, while the manager is associated with a board of directors or the public administration directly. The success of institutions relies on the two figures finding a common work field where they can negotiate and share objectives. From Jobs-Sculley type confrontations, only resounding failures for both parties can arise.

Jordi Varela


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