By migramirez - September 27, 2013

By Ed McField - Health Care Management, Policy, and Leadership

Surely you have heard the story of the chicken and the egg. But here’s a twist, which one is more important?

You may say, that is a futile debate, and you may be right.  Unfortunately, I have often heard debates on leadership and management that sounds awfully like the chicken and egg discussion.  Today, someone pointed out that we are in the Dept. of Health Policy and Management but our program is Health Policy and Leadership. Is there a difference, and if so, what is it?

Some time ago, I was chatting with my son attempting to cajole him into doing me a favor and he made a comment that made me think: Management is the art of getting things done, whereas Leadership is the art of motivating people to enjoy getting things done.  You may disagree with my simplistic definition, but you know what these definitions or descriptions have in common? Yes, you got it: they are both an art. Just as we would never argue whether painting is superior to playing a musical instrument, perhaps we should cease arguing whether management is superior to leadership, or vice versa. We need both!

Every once in a while,  I will comment here on issues related to management, leadership, policy, health, poverty, community empowerment, and health equity (and many more). These are topics that I’m passionate about.  I’m hoping that you may encounter ideas that either make you squirm or inspire you. But most importantly, I hope you do something. The reality is that challenges in health and access to health care, and other public health concerns are complex and will require that we do away with our chicken versus egg mentality.

So now back to that question. Which one do you prefer, a vege-chicken or a vege-egg? As for me, give me the huevo AND the pollo.