Friday, 18 August 2017

Leadership or Management?

In the Corporate World, we have moved on from the concept of Management in favour of that of Leadership.

We no longer defer to our Manager, we defer to our Leader.

Development initiatives are now about creating Leaders, not Managers.

The idea is perhaps that Managers manage stuff but Leaders motivate, initiate, instigate, strategise, communicate and coach in order to well, manage stuff.

Where we had General Managers’ we now have “Chief Officers”, Divisional Managers have become “Heads Of” and Managers “Team Leaders”.

With all this emphasise on Leadership, why is it we seem so bereft of it.

Management was always about taking responsibility. Is this really the difference between the “M” word and the “L” word?

Leaders talk about the big picture, the new strategy, engagement and cohesion. Leaders talk about it then all too often default to short termism.

Am I being unfair? Am I generalising? Yes, I am being unfair and I am generalising.

My concern is that we are progressing to a state where the taking of responsibility may be becoming less common.

I have been in many a forum where it has been stated by Management, sorry, by Leaders that compliance is the responsibility of every employee. At times, I have been the orator of this mantra.

However, for Leaders, is there a danger that actually addressing a compliance matter is only relevant when a problem is discovered?

In recent years, we have seen numerous scandals in and around financial services. Is it possible Leaders were blinded to reality by short term objectives? Do Leaders operate in the long term but work day to day in the short term? Is it possible short term incentives based around next week's targets impact such behaviour?  

In moving ahead, does Leadership need to combine the modern theory of strategy etc with some of the drudgery of Management practice; the drudgery of the responsibility of “getting stuff done”, and getting it done properly?

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