I am participating in a NACM Work Group that is updating the CORE Leadership Competency  (Leadership – NACM Core).  This is part of NACM’s commitment to continuously review and update the 13 CORE Competencies (Core Essentials – NACM Core) to ensure they remain current and useful to the court community.

A key part of the Leadership Competency is a discussion of “what is leadership?”  What are the essential elements of leadership, and what makes an effective leader?  How does this differ from being a manager?  The Work Group is considering a wealth of information on this topic, and I am recalling an e-newsletter I read from Steve Gutzler (www.stevegutzler.com) from last July that did a nice job of contrasting the “common distinctions between a manager and a leader”:

1. The manager administers, the leader innovates.
2. The manager maintains, the leader develops.
3. The manager accepts reality, the leader investigates it.
4. The manager focuses on systems, the leader focuses on people.
5. The manager has a short-range view, the leader has a long-range perspective.
6. The manager relies on control, the leader inspires trust.
7. The manager imitates, the leader originates.
8. The manager accepts the status quo, the leader challenges it.
9. The manager does things right, the leader does the right thing.
10. The manager asks how, the leader asks what and why.

As Mr. Gutzler emphasized in his article, it is important to remember that we need both leaders and managers.  This is particularly true in times of crisis, such as the current pandemic, associated economic havoc, and the impacts of both on the judicial system.  It is imperative that all of us involved in administering the courts step up to apply the factors listed above to rise to the challenge.

It would be great if others with further thoughts on this subject (or Leadership in general) would share them via comments to this blog post, or directly to me for consideration in the NACM Work Group’s revision of the Leadership Competency.  Thank you in advance for any help!

2 thoughts on “Leaders and Managers

  1. Norm, interesting article and very important work. Thank you for your third decade of work on the Competencies! Suzanne James

    Sent from my iPhone

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