March 9, 2012
Maybe you’ve read somewhere that leadership and management are two different competencies – one drives change and the other assures operational excellence; one originates and the other systemizes; one is entrepreneurial and the other tends the status quo. If you attended the 2011 OPEN MINDS Executive Leadership Institute, this was captured in William Rosenbach’s presentation on transformational leadership and transactional leadership (see Using Transformational & Transactional Leadership: Chamberlain At Little Round Top all members).
This dichotomy in the view of leadership versus management was also captured in our recent series on the role of managers – Should You “Eliminate” Your Managers? all members, Exchanging Managers For Chaos? all members and Managers Need to ‘Make The Mission The Boss’ all members – sparked by Gary Hamel’s HBR article First, Let’s Fire All the Managers. Recently Vic Topo, Chief Executive Officer of Center for Life Management sent us this feedback adding an experienced perspective to the discussion.
“I’ve been following very closely and reflecting on your pieces associated with Gary Hamel’s HBR article “First, Let’s Fire All the Managers.” Let me begin by saying that I have found Gary’s work to be quite impressive over the years. In fact this article comes 5 years after the publication of his provocative book, The Future of Management which interestingly is when Gary first went to great lengths to suggest his premise that management as we have known it over the last several decades is in desperate need of change and innovation. […] I believe is attempting to get all of us 20+ year managers to have “open minds” to the premise that we should seize the opportunity to recognize and reinvent how we manage in our respective organizations.
“I suggest – as taught by Stephen Covey – that part of where we get into trouble is to think that we can manage people the same way we manage copiers, physical plant etc. As Covey would say, “Manage things, lead people.”
“Although Hamel does not literally state the word leadership, the take away for me is […] he is implying we need more of it and self managed teams are just one method of getting employees to take more responsibility and ownership of their product and/or service.
“…Your decision to bring Mr. Hamel’s article to the OPEN MINDS following is very timely given how organizations of all types are becoming flatter, coupled with the generational differences in the workplace as compared to when management was invented.”
As we see a reorganization of how we finance services and how we deliver services, expect to see continued discussion about the evolving role of leaders and managers in the process.
Monica E. Oss
Chief Executive Officer, OPEN MINDS
For another free resource, see: Misunderstood Motivations Lead To Bad Management Decisions all members
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