Hermione: Management or Leadership?

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Hermione: Management or Leadership?

Management Monday
Hermione: Management or Leadership?

In the 14 Biggest CEO Mistakes Author Interview Series published on Forward Metrics, Ruth Schwartz who is the owner of High Performance Advocates suggests that a focus on management over leadership causes CEOs to stumble. This is an astute and rational argument, worth dissecting. So what is the difference between management and leadership? What examples can help differentiate? See below and play our Hermione Management or Leadership Guessing Game to test your understanding.


The act or art of managing : the conducting or supervising of something (as a business) (Merriam-Webster)

Managing involves organizing and planning. The role is more technical and operations based.

The act or an instance of leading (Merriam-Webster)

Leaders set an example and inspire the team. Merriam-Webster also describes a leader as the horse placed in advance of the other horses. They carve out the path and show the way as opposed to assigning operations.

As conveyed by Warren Bennis in his 1989 book On Becoming a Leader “The manager administers; the leader innovates. The manager focuses on systems and structure; the leader focuses on people. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.”

Now for the “Catch 22

We’ve sorted out the difference between management and leadership, but the tricky part is fitting them together. Realistically, CEOs, executives, managers, and leader roles need both skills to succeed.

She may not be known for wearing a business suit or running corporate empires, but one young fictional character named Hermione may be able to shed some light on this dilemma. Created by Author Jo Rowling, Hermione becomes a leader among her peers in the Harry Potter books. Both management skills and leadership capabilities enable her to keep her team on track. Let’s check out some examples.

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Table of Contents

Hermione Management/Leadership Guessing Game:

In getting to know Hermione through her words and actions, we can see a balance of leadership and managerial qualities in her character. Guess which category (leadership, management, or both) each dialogue clip correlates with, and find the answers after each section to compare your results. Be warned, this is a tricky little game; not always cut and dry.

Hermione: You’ll be okay, Harry. You’re a great wizard. You really are. 

She is offering encouragement:

Harry: And now we wait? 
Hermione: And now we wait. 
[they sit down end of scene]

Hermione is confirming the plan and what action to take:

Hermione: If you’re going to kill Harry you’ll have to kill us too! 
Sirius Black: No, only one will die tonight. 
Harry: Then it’ll be you!

This is an action of sacrifice. She is showing investment in and care for her team member:

Hermione: I’ve gotta do something! 
Harry: What? 
Hermione: Oh, I remember reading something in herbology… um… 
Ron: Hel-! 
Hermione: Devil’s Snare, Devil’s Snare…”It’s deadly fun, but will sulk in the sun!” That’s it! Devil’s Snare hates sunlight! Lumos Solem! 
[she conjures a type of sunlight from her wand; Ron falls to the ground below]

This is an execution of how and when: getting the job done. It is administrative.
But this is also innovative. She is thinking on her feet, making a snap decision in her team’s best interests and taking action.
Leadership and Management

No stickers for right answers today, but go forward having been reminded that you are both a manager and a leader. As has been displayed through Hermione’s actions, management and leadership skills are both attainable. But as Ruth Schwartz indicated, the trick is having a balance. These two elements are symbiotic, feeding off of one another to thrive. In today’s demanding business world, it is crucial to both inspire teams and direct them. One can’t be a good leader, unless one has the ability to manage one’s self well, and a great part of that management is the emotion management.  Your team looks up to you during times of turbulence to calm the waves and direct them to victory.

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