So much has been written and spoken the past few years about “Be a leader, not a manager!”
I have seen and heard a couple of hundred articles, posts and videos related to the demise, denigration, and negativity of management, management systems and managers.
Why? What has happened to cause managers and management to receive so much disdain? I consider this a destructive trend – actually harmful to anyone who is or aspires to be a leader.
I’ve owned several businesses over the past 30 years. These have employed over 1,000 people in total. I can state that 50% of my actions as an owner have been as a leader, and 50% as a manager/executive.
Leadership and management go hand-in-glove.
To be a truly effective and inspirational leader, an individual must ALSO be a skilled manager and executive.
To be an effective and successful executive, an individual must ALSO be a good leader.
Leadership and management are two sides of the same coin. They cannot be separated.
Leadership without good management skills is like a Ferrari without a skilled driver.
Yes, there are terrible managers. Yes, there are nonsensical and ineffective management systems that have been paraded through the business world for the past 100 years. Yes, there are as many wrong ideas about management as there are people in the world.
Yet none of these should be a reason to think there is no need for skilled, effective managers/executives and management systems. There is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater just because there have been so many bad managers and systems over the years.
Good, skilled management and management systems are necessary for success in any venture – business or otherwise. Without this, any organization will fail.
There IS such a thing as a right way to manage. The first step is a proper definition of management. I offer my own definition:
i) the art, science, knowledge, skills, decisions, and actions of achieving the goals of the organization – effectively and efficiently – by skillfully directing and coordinating its people and resources; and
ii) taking all actions necessary to apply the ingredients and elements to success, so as to produce a profitable, efficient and healthy organization.
There is nothing negative or demeaning in this definition. In fact, these actions and end results are the entire reason to conduct any venture in the first place.