Leadership, management, culture – definitions

There are many great definitions of leadership, management and culture. My favorite, and most actionable, definitions are as follows –

Leadership: Doing the right things (effectiveness)

Management: Doing things right (efficiency)

Culture: This is what people like me in this team/organization do

Are these complete? No, there definitely are more complete definitions. But, definitions, in my book, should help point us to action. There are many hundred things leaders should do. But, there’s none more important than leading the team to working on the right things – i.e. being effective. Similarly, there are many things a manager should do. But, the role is about efficiency. And, culture has way too many complex definitions and metaphors when it should simply get at the fact that it defines the default behavior for a person, team or organization.


Hat tip to Stephen R Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) and Seth Godin (Change the culture, change the world) for the definitions.

PS: I am working on a 1 pager synthesizing everything I’ve learned about these 3 – more to follow in a couple of weeks.

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