Leadership or Management?
There are managers and there are leaders. I’m sure there have been times when you have asked the question, are they all needed, what’s the difference and how would I class myself, a manager or a leader? Life gives us experiences and I am sure you would have come across many situations and just shook your head and nodded in disbelief and what was happening in your workplace, or elsewhere, with management and/or leadership! This of course extends even further to experiences we observe in our community and on a broader scale. Both are essential and your contribution is important as a leader now to make a difference.
This is NOT a dress rehearsal
In my blog, “Why Leadership Must Change NOW,” I highlighted that, “there are significant gaps and weaknesses in Australia’s leadership and management.” I emphasised that this is NOT a dress rehearsal. We are all at a CROSS ROAD, with the economy slowing, productivity sluggish, employment growth and consumer confidence faltering. Many economists are now predicting an extended period of slow economic growth and recovery. Organisations need to adapt and adjust to this unfolding reality and YOU have an opportunity to make difference as a Leader! It’s time to move beyond the façade, find a cause, develop your skills as a leader and DECIDE to make a difference. I have faith in your ability to make it happen with YOUR leadership and business success! Here are my main points from the blog:
- Leaders Who Re-Defined Leadership, Changed History
- Leaders Must “Rethink The Art Of The Possible”
- Making Leadership is Relevant Now
- Make Time for Leadership
SELL your Organisation on the NEED for MANAGEMENT
David Garvin highlighted in HBR, “How Google sold its Engineers on Management.” High-performing knowledge workers often question whether managers actually contribute much, especially in a technical environment. Until recently, that was the case at Google, a company filled with self-starters who viewed management as more destructive than beneficial and as a distraction from “real work.” But when Google’s people analytics team examined the value of managers, applying the same rigorous research methods the company uses in its operations, it proved the sceptics wrong.
Mining data from employee surveys, performance reviews, and double-blind interviews, the team verified that managers indeed had a positive impact. It also pinpointed exactly how, identifying the eight key behaviours of great Google managers. In this article, Harvard Business School professor Garvin describes how Google has incorporated the detailed findings from the research into highly specific, concrete guidelines; classes; and feedback reports that help managers hone their essential skills. Because these tools were built from the ground up, using the staff’s own input, they’ve been embraced by Google employees.
Managers say that they’ve found their training to be invaluable, and managers’ ratings from direct reports have steadily risen across the company. Professor Garvin’s main points are:
- Analyse the Soft Stuff
- Make the Case
- Put the Findings into Practice
- Measure Results
That, in a nutshell, is the principle at the heart of Google’s approach: deploying disciplined data collection and rigorous analysis—the tools of science—to uncover deeper insights into the art and craft of management.
Wrong Management Styles Hurt
In a Workzone article by Glynnis Purcell, about “Management Style,” it shows that managers were viewed by their employees and organizations as valuable commodities. They were seen as capable leaders with distinct management styles who guided their organization’s teams to success. They were viewed as indispensable. NOT ANYMORE!
Unfortunately, over the last few years, the opinion on managers’ value seems to have eroded. Negative articles abound, claiming middle managers are useless and unnecessary. Why is it that public opinion has changed so drastically? Are managers a useless relic of the past, an unnecessary component of corporate culture that’s fast becoming obsolete? ABSOLUTELY NOT! So, what’s the problem then? Why are so many managers viewed unfavourably? Research from Gallup found that organizations choose the wrong manager a whopping 82% of the time. It’s one of the most important decisions a company can make, yet 8 out of 10 times everyone gets it wrong!
It’s easy to assume that those 82% of managers just weren’t cut out to be in a management position. But, a four-year study conducted by Leadership IQ found that more often, the case is that the manager’s style is inappropriate for their particular culture. Different projects, teams, tasks, and businesses need different management styles. If you cannot adapt to the needs of your position and organization, then you’re doomed to failure. Not only can an inability to adapt lead to your being demoted or let go, but it also hurts the entire company.
Only 30% of US employees and 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. And at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores can be directly attributed to employees’ managers. When your team isn’t engaged, that results in lower productivity, poorer quality work, dramatically increased turnover, more issues with theft and absenteeism and reduced profitability. The bottom line is that the wrong management style de-motivates employees, kills productivity, and trains employees to disengage or leave. Hurting the entire organization. But how do you know which management style is called for? And how do you successfully adopt the right one? Here are the styles:
- Authoritarian management
- Visionary management
- Transactional management
- Servant Leadership management
- Pacesetting management
- Democratic management
- Laissez-Faire management
The problem is that the vast majority of managers aren’t asking themselves which management style is the right fit. They’re simply adopting the one they’re most familiar with, most comfortable with, or the one they’ve been told to exhibit. This inflexibility inevitably leads to disaster. The most successful managers understand that you need different styles for different scenarios and different projects. You may even need different styles for different members of your team. Amazing managers craft their approach around their audience and can fluidly switch between styles as situations change.
FOCUS on BOTH leadership and management
Brigette Hyacinth Author of ‘Leading the Workforce of the Future’ outlines in a LinkedIn article, “Leadership or Management. Which is more important? Management is the set of processes that keep an organization functioning. Leadership on the other hand requires the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of goals. Management focuses on the bottom line. A leader is interested in followers—the people who will deliver the process that leads to the bottom line.
Being a manager is a job. Managers implement the practices of the organization. Being a leader is a role. Leaders guide and inspire. Their fulfilment comes in bringing about positive change. A good leader puts the interest of their followers before their own and measure success by whether their followers are better off. Leaders help organizations and people to grow, while a manager’s greatest accomplishment comes from making work processes more effective. Leadership breeds loyalty, dedication, and accountability. Leaders inspire, motivate, and influence their teams and assist them in reaching their goals and achieving their highest possible performance.
Leaders build people through training, coaching, mentoring, and rewarding. They recognize that everyone is motivated differently. Managers, on the other hand, believe people will be motivated if you pay them enough. Leaders understand that pay is a satisfier but not the only motivator.
In this time of economic uncertainty, technological advancement coupled with the increasingly complex and volatile business environment, the need to demonstrate BOTH leadership and management in perfect situational correlations has never been more critical for success. How an organization strikes balance between management and leadership depends on the type of business, the people, and the environment in which it operates.
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Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.