Shorts: Peter Bergman on Vision of the Future and Vision of the Present


Peter Bergman writes in HBR Blog :

He was trying to inspire people with a vision. But sometimes we don’t need a vision. Sometimes all we need is empathy. To know that someone else, someone we trust, knows how we feel and can reflect that back to us with compassion.

Painting a picture of the present we know can be far more valuable and comforting than painting a picture of the future we don’t. We don’t always need the answers. Sometimes we just need to know that we’re not alone and we’re understood.

This is exactly what I am trying to say when I talk about the difference between managers and leaders. Or put differently, the difference between leadership uncertainty and managerial uncertainty:

A manager cannot take care of the systematic risk. The future. It is a leader’s job. It is the leadership uncertainty. A manager is in charge with the present. And he needs to take care of the risks associated with it. Take care of managerial uncertainty.

This is also the reason I think we should be careful not to think of leadership and management as the same thing !


2 Responses to “Shorts: Peter Bergman on Vision of the Future and Vision of the Present”

  1. Pushkar Bajpai Says:

    An interesting read!

    Quite a few time there has been this discussion about visionary leadership. But the way I see a leadership is a combination of objectives and visions. Lacking either of them is a problem for any person let alone a leader. Objectives helps us to define measurable goals and helps to nurture persons as they walk in their professional lives. After all we all look for niches in which we can be successful. A manager/leader or for that matter any person must recognize and appreciate the niches of other people. Only then he can work with them for a higher goal.

    Also we all look up to something big in our lives. We look up to God, great leaders (politics, business) etc. So we all admire & respect the vision. People stand in line for hours to catch a glimpse of a hero. So vision gives us a visual cue for the possibilities we can achieve.

    Any leader or a person has to balance between objectives and visions. So as a leader cum manager, properly defined objectives can help mitigate present risks and a vision can provide bolstering to future uncertainties.

    I have further tried to analyze objectives & vision in my post……

  2. sherfelad Says:

    Pushkar Bajpai, wow!
    Although I am not sure I share your thoughts about this subject (right now, as I am not sure I understand the clear distinction you make between objectives and vision) you have given me much to think about. I am always trying to talk about the difference that exists between managers and leaders and I guess you way of thinking about is is another manifestation of that!
    Thanks for commenting and hope to see you here again soon!


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