There seem to be endless books and articles praising leadership as a virtue and vilifying management as a vice, that somehow mere management is beneath the lofty status of the great leader. Often portrayed as unforgiving, solitary geniuses who demand excellence and punish mediocrity, leaders can’t be bothered with the day-to-day minutiae of running an organization. They are busy singlehandedly building a brave new world while managers are cruel and stupid thugs hobbling us with layers of process and pointless bureaucracy. Leaders lead and managers block the way.
While those stereotypes make for captivating copy, great leadership requires great management. The only thing wrong with management is BAD management.
Company politics so often create an environment that encourages and rewards poor oversight. Suck up, punch down and never stick your neck out. This style of supervision breeds apathy, resentment and lowered productivity. It’s why people leave and organizations limp along. How can we change that?
Excellent managers provide leadership with a series of simple daily actions so teams can GET SHIT DONE.
- Set goals
- Make decisions
- Give clear direction
- Offer immediate feedback
- Solve problems
And don’t overlook the awesome power of face time with your team. What we spend so much time trying to accomplish through endless meetings, email, phone calls, IM and conference calls can often be solved instantly and effectively with a few minutes of face-to-face. It takes time, but a lap around the office can be good for you, good for morale and great for the team.
in the end great management provides leadership, so lead from the front, not from behind. Clear the road ahead so your staff can be excellent every day. It’s harder and everything hits you first, but your results will always be better. What do you think?