There is much written and said about the difference between a leader and a manager.
However I would submit that a successful leader needs to have sound management skills as part of his/her makeup
One cannot only be looking at leadership competencies (such as challenging the existing state, envisioning the future, encouraging staff to perform at optimal level and empowering staff) without a soundly developed range of skills related to that position.
Perhaps one of the reasons why the title of manager has attracted a jaded image could be due to the technocratic approach many managers have had towards their role and many with whom they have interacted.
What the workplace is asking for is a “sensory” leader, someone able to look beyond the here and now and encourage their constituency to move towards the horizon enthusiastically – to be courageous pioneers with a caring heart.
An effective leadership development plan must include both leader competencies and manager skills in order to be effective.
Leadership competencies comprise the practices of: Inspiring an attractive picture of the future, challenging the existing regime, encouraging the heart of the people, empowering the staff to act and Modeling the way.
On the other hand, management skills may comprise the following 3 broad categories : Business acumen; interpersonal relations and cognitive adeptness.
Let us briefly explore each of these categories.
Business acumen includes functional or technical skills related to the particular discipline (for e.g. a Financial Director is assumed to be well versed in the world of investments, tax, risk, due diligence, mergers and acquisitions, hedging, derivatives, etc).
Interpersonal relationships refers to the ability to communicate, handle conflict, build teams, manage a diverse work team, etc
Cognitive adeptness relates to the ability of the leader to think proactively, analyse problems, make sound decisions etc.
So where does that leave “da Boss”.
Rather than comparing the Leader with a Manager the comparison should be between a Leader and a Boss. The reason for this is that comparisons of this nature are usually made in order to highlight contrasting behaviours. I would submit that the habit of comparing leaders with managers is somewhat misaligned and unfairly conjures up a negative image of the term “manager”.
So let us then look at what a Boss is
A boss allows his/her ego to become vested in the role he/she plays and in the trappings of his/her authority.
Bosses develop habits of behaving and thinking that reinforce the “correctness” of the “Boss” approach.
Bosses receive positive feedback from their subordinates for behaving like “Bosses” – autocratically, critical, belittling and dominating. Subordinates dare not challenge as this would bring an end to what could be a promising career.
“Boss behaviour” is not confined to any particular race or gender. Many bosses believe they have paid the price and are therefore entitled to act like one. As a result one often finds an employee, who after protesting about being the victim of boss behavior, behaves no different when succeeding his/her predecessor. This is somewhat similar to the child abuser who in court tearfully relates how he/she was abused as a child. But we don’t have to be victims of our circumstance – as humans we can choose to turn adversity into victory. We can never lay claim to the right to bully simply because we were bullied.
As the saying goes “Just because you have one does not mean you have to act like one”
Are you a leader, manager or boss? was first posted on August 31, 2011 at 11:39 am.
©2011 “Organisational Leadership“. Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact me at [email protected]
Link to original posthttp://transperform.uk.com/blog